Confidence is the most remarkable trait in this rare solo violinist of the current generation from one of the great schools of Carnatic music. Shreya Devnath who has made impressive strides on the concert circuit in the last few years is emerging as a worthy disciple of Lalgudi Jayaraman. At 21, she has displayed the maturity and skill to prove that she is ready to rub shoulders with her seniors in the field.
Shreya has been praised by critics for the saukhyam of her music, her fondness for songs of slower pace, her obvious appreciation and enjoyment of the lyrics, her swarasthana suddham, her creative explorations of ragas, and the clear traces of the Lalgudi bani of violin playing in her music. Her mastery of the instrument and her adherence to her pathantara in kriti rendering have drawn praise from veteran commentators. These words of V Balasubramaniam of The Hindu are a tribute to her stage presence and equanimity: “Shreya Devnath proved a worthy disciple (of Lalgudi) in her violin solo concert... The erect posture indicated poise and Shreya showed visranti that belied her age.”
Starting with her debut at Sri Krishna Sabha in 2007, which was declared the best junior concert of the season, Shreya has already won several prizes and awards in her fledgling career. These complement her creditable run of success in her academic life, featured by prizes for scholastics as well as co-curricular activities like creative writing, essay writing and elocution. With a bachelor’s degree with distinction in economics, she is now pursuing her masters in the same subject.
At a time when many talented violinists find it difficult to break into the solo concert space, Shreya’s has so far been a commendable journey, in which her parents DP Devnath and Lakshmi Devnath have played a key role as mentors and guides.