KARNATAKA

A young talent sparkles with classicism

Priyanka C. Prakash

Priyanka C. Prakash  

Priyanka will perform in Mysore on April 15, and in Bangalore on May 4

Be it on music platforms or amongst the audience, the youth percentage in classical music sessions is seeing a sharp rise. A striking example of youthful energy in the Carnatic genre in the city today is vocalist Priyanka C. Prakash.

Early days

Bubblegum music is part of most urban, middleclass, teens' life but Priyanka developed a keen ear for classical music. “Before she turned 13, she had already heard most of the yesteryear stalwarts,” says her mother, Sudha Prakash. Not surprising as Priyanka's musical lineage goes back to Palakkad Rama Bhagavatar who was a star vocalist even before Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar's time.

Magnificent obsession

Her love of music has “graduated from obsession to mania”, declares the 20-year-old commerce student. Her room is stacked with hundreds of CDs of music from the 1950s and 1960s. “K.V. Narayanaswamy, Ramnad Krishnan, Alathur Brothers, Brinda-Muktha and MLV…they are all my favourites,” she says. “As a teen, all I wanted was to be a student of Neela Ramgopal and the day I presented Shyama Shastri's ‘Durusuga' in Saveri, my guru accepted me into her school.”

Precision

Even as Priyanka is inspired with the uncompromising and chaste classicism her music classes offer, guru Ms. Ramgopal is happy her guidance has helped the pupil win several accolades, including the M.S. Subbulakshmi Award instituted by the Bhramara Trust in Mysore. “She rose to all the demands that judge Lalgudi G.J.R. Krishnan made in the pallavi presentation for which the timing, format and tempo had to be absolutely in precision,” explains Ms. Ramgopal, who adds that her precocious pupil is “like a blotting paper” when it comes to absorbing the nuances.

‘Pallavi in Different Beats' was also her subject of presentation when visiting students and faculty from Swansea University, Wales, the U.K., were briefed during her exercise during the students exchange programme some time ago.

Priyanka has received awards from the Music Academy in Chennai, Gayana Samaja and Ananya Cultural Academy too.

Performances

Priyanka C. Prakash will perform at the Alwar Bhavana for Krishna Gana Sabha in Mysore on April 15, and at the Lalithakala Parishat in Bangalore on May 4.

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