Prasanna Venkataraman
Each year, the Carnatic music scene in Chennai is enriched by  the arrival of a score or more of talented young musicians in the performance circuit. Many are from Chennai, while a ..., Read more


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Prasanna Venkataraman

Address : A3, East Crest, 149, Lattice Bridge Road (L.B. Road), Tiruvanmiyur
Mobile : 9884346176
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Description :

Each year, the Carnatic music scene in Chennai is enriched by  the arrival of a score or more of talented young musicians in the performance circuit. Many are from Chennai, while a few are from other parts of Tamil Nadu, and other States as well. Other countries too contribute their share.

Many of these young musicians are drawn from well-to-do middle class families; the legacy of successive generations of professional musicians has dwindled considerably. Many do not even have a family background in music. All of them pursue academics but have by themselves discovered the joys of music and have been hooked inexorably to it.

One such young vocalist is 26-year old Prasanna Venkataraman, originally from Mumbai, who graduated in engineering from that  city. An only child of his parents, he started learning the basics at the age of six from his mother’s friend Seethalakshmi, mother of Bombay Jayashri. After about two years of coaching she took him to T.R. Balamani, a teacher par excellence who has trained innumerable youngsters over the years. Many of them are performing artists today. He was with her till 2005, when Chennai, the centre of Carnatic music beckoned him. He took up M. Tech. in electrical engineering in IIT Madras, and simultaneously enrolled with Sangita Kalanidhi T.K. Govinda Rao who had taught Balamani many decades earlier. Govinda Rao was therefore his natural choice for his further training, but the remarkable success of Sanjay Subrahmanyan as a leading performer also attracted him. He did not find it strange or impractical to be studying under two guru-s whose musical instincts were quite different. Govinda Rao did not raise any objection, even though his own training method is quite orthodox. Prasanna adds that much of his systematic learning comes from the maestro, while his interaction is often informal and sporadic with Sanjay who has a very busy concert schedule. Sanjay helps him to conceptualise music presentation in concerts.

As with many young musicians, Prasanna took many elements of music from his guru-s including their mannerisms! In fact, he had absorbed a whole lot of mannerisms of Sanjay, but during the past year and a half, he has consciously shed much of it.

His music is bright and oriented towards musical values. His voice cannot be said to be powerful but has a mellowness and he sings at a respectable 2-kattai pitch. He is good in the laya department, but does not indulge too much in its intricacies at the cost of rakti. He has a large store of compositions, around four hundred. He is now concentrating on adding more kriti-s of Dikshitar to his repertoire.

Prasanna works in a Chennai based company and manages to perform four or five concerts a month on the average. His mind is set on a purely professional career in music in the not too distant future. Meanwhile he wants to stabilise himself as a vocalist of merit.

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