He is the preferred violin partner of many a senior Carnatic vocalist. A master of the art of accompaniment, he scrupulously restrains himself to faithfully follow the contours of the essays of the main artist, yet manages to carve out his own nuanced brand of manodharma when the flow of the concert inspires him. His solo concerts are models of virtuosity tempered by restraint. Few musicians seem to have internalised the essence of the great Carnatic ragas as violinist R.K. Shriramkumar has. In the art of violin playing he has over the years undergone systematic evolution and transformation from a correct if unexciting purveyor of pure music to an exemplary explorer of raga music on a rich, wide canvas, but with his hand and mind firmly on the brakes to shut out mindless, reckless abandon. Mention any raga to him and he can paint you a masterly portrait of it without so much of a warming up, each gamaka that flows from his instrument unfurling the DNA of the raga flawlessly, its aesthetics fully revealed, yet without excess of any sort. Some of his admirers have examined his music ultra-critically, only to come up reluctantly with perceived weaknesses that could actually be strengths that he is not a `kanakku’ wizard, and that in embracing the vocal style in totality he has perhaps not explored the violin’s instrumental possibilities adequately.