Mysore Manjunath and children to perform at SVN Rao centenary celebrations

In a rare occurrence, Mysore M Manjunath will perform with his children at the centenary concerts celebrating Karnataka’s music legend SV Narayanaswamy Rao

March 14, 2024 10:18 am | Updated 10:18 am IST

Mysore Manjunath with son Sumanth

Mysore Manjunath with son Sumanth | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

For someone as accomplished as violinist Mysore Manjunath who has bagged national and global awards and performed in 40 countries, his enthusiasm to perform at the SVN Rao Centenary event at the Sree Ramaseva Mandali Trust at Nettigere, is refreshing.

“It is an honour for my children Sumanth Manjunath, Malavi Manjunath and I to pay tribute to classical music promoter SVN Rao for whom music was life. We have a long association with the Mandali — my brother Nagaraj and I are grateful to SVN for his encouragement,” says Manjunath, who spoke while travelling to Mysore, after a concert at Dharwad.

“The violin has been the life and soul of our family and it is gratifying that the third generation is continuing this legacy,” says Manjunath with quiet pride, when asked how it felt to have his children join in the family tradition.

Mysore Manjunath

Mysore Manjunath | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“My father, Mysore S Mahadevappa, while receiving the Sangeetha Kalarathna of Bangalore Gayana Samaja in 2013 had commented, ‘I don’t know how much I have done to receive this, but I am content that my students, most importantly my sons, Nagaraj and Manjunath, are taking my violin legacy forward. Can a guru or father ask for more?’ My father would have been thrilled that a third generation is continuing the tradition.”

Mahadevappa, recalls Manjunath, had cherished teaching Sumanth as a grandpa-guru. “His teaching of kritis, raga and neraval was far more affable when compared to the rod of discipline Nagaraj and I experienced. Later, I took over Sumanth’s education. Learning to play the violin to master the instrument, and conditioning a musician to be concert ready are two different dimensions of learning and presentation.”

Mysore Manjunath’s son Sumanth

Mysore Manjunath’s son Sumanth | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“Today, I am happy that Sumanth, who has a Masters in music and is planning to a pursue a PhD in music, has had solo concerts at international festivals and has held workshops in more than 15 countries, including Oxford and Cambridge Universities, over the past few years. He is preparing for another Europe tour in April.”

Manjunath’s daughter Malavi, named after the traditional Carnatic raga, who is in class VIII, “wants to catch up with her brother.” As a child, Malavi began vocal training with her grandfather, and later had her father’s guidance in learning the violin. “Three months ago we had her ranga-pravesha on the violin at the Yadugiri Yathiraj Mutt in Malleswaram in Bengaluru. She has been playing solo and with Sumanth as well. During our practice sessions, the three of us concentrate on improvisation and creative renderings, as kritis have to be extended to see imaginative and inventive renderings to establish an identity,” says Manjunath.

“It was at one of our sessions at home when Malavi was learning about the different melodic pieces of the Hindola raga that she ascertained the different techniques and nuanced fingering that calls for handling the raga and emotions in lyrics differently.”

Mysore Manjunath’s daughter Malavi

Mysore Manjunath’s daughter Malavi | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The math and grammar of presentation that decides the speed, and the phrases that necessitate different strings of play were also Malavi’s special areas of interest. At one of those rigorous practice sessions when Sumanth attempted some speeding phrases that he expected his sister to follow, she stopped, her eyes wide in disbelief that the bow and finger could keep up such a cadence! It only took Manjunath a day to inspire her into learning the finer distinctions of playing, to get her to smile again.

Violinists Mysore Manjunath and his children Sumanth and Malavi will perform at Sree Ramaseva Mandali Trust, Nettigere, on March 16 at 11.30am. Call 9482965659 or mail for details.   

The SVN Memorial Hall at Nettigere

The SVN Memorial Hall at Nettigere | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Celebrating a musical legend
The centenary celebrations of SV Narayanaswamy Rao, one of Karnataka’s leading musicians who promoted Ramanavami celebrations with music in Bengaluru, is underway. “We are showcasing 100 events related to music to mark my father SV Narayanaswamy Rao’s centenary which concludes in December 2024. It’s a heartfelt tribute to SVN, born in 1924, whose efforts saw him bridge a connect between Hindustani and Carnatic music using Ramanavami as a platform. To him, music and spirituality were parallel paths to melodic bhakthi,” says the eldest son of SV Narayanaswamy Rao, SN Ramaprasad, who is the managing trustee of the Sree Ramaseva Mandali Trust.
“We built the SVN Memorial Hall at Nettigere on Kanakapura Main Road six months ago amidst nature as a befitting background for musical events,” says Ramaprasad.
On March 16, there will be a saxophone recital by Sridhar Sagar at 9.45am, followed by a violin performance by Mysore M Manjunath and his children Sumanth and Malavi with mridanga vidwan Yella Venkateshwara Rao and G Guruprasanna on the khanjira at 11.30am.
The SVN Rao National Award will be presented to ghatam exponent TH Vinayakram and Carnatic vocalist brothers Rudrapatnam Brothers RN Thyagarajan and RN Tharanathan on March 17, at APS College in NR Colony.
“Just as my father believed that his Ramanavami platform would benefit music enthusiasts, our Trust too, will also reach out to government schools in and around Nettigere to propagate classical music,” adds Ramaprasad.
Mysore brothers and violinists M. Nagaraj (extreme left) and M. Manjunath

Mysore brothers and violinists M. Nagaraj (extreme left) and M. Manjunath

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