BANGALORE : Dr L Subramaniam, the violinist who travels the world, will perform alongside Pandit Jasraj at the end of this month in the city that’s his home.
Ahead of the jugalbandi concert which is to have no percussion, he talks of his journey and how a health complication led him to his dream of embracing the violin.
His parents, V Lakshminarayana, and Seethalakshmi, were musicians. While his elder brother trained on the violin, his sisters were learning vocal. And Subramaniam too began his musical training with vocal classical.
“My father developed the violin into a solo instrument for Indian classical music. Hearing him play made me want to become a violinist, but he thought I should learn vocal, like my sisters,” he says.
But when Subramaniam was about five, he developed a health complication. When Lakshminarayana heard his son might lose his voice, he began to train him on the violin. “I was so happy,” Subramaniam said.
He still remembers his first concert at a Subramania temple in Sri Lanka when he was six. “It was an auspicious day, and my father asked me to perform. All I remember is that there were thousands of people and the organisers didn’t want me to perform.”
But young Subramaniam knew that he had to please his father. “I had to go home with him. And so I played. He was pleased and so was the audience. But organisers took credit saying, ‘Our Subramania is playing through him’,” he says with a laugh.
He has played and created music with many big names. Of them, he mentions T R Mahalingam, Palghat Mani Iyer, Yehudi Menuhin as musicians he has particularly enjoyed working with.
He says the upcoming concert will see the two artistes mainly explore ragas through alaap. “Whatever ragas he (Pandit Jasraj) sings, I’ll play the corresponding South Indian raga. We've given a couple of performances like this earlier this year. It’s a spiritual and emotional experience, and gives me great inner peace.”
He is eager to play in Bangalore, his home city. “I usually don’t schedule more than three shows a year in any city. So I don’t get to play too much in Bangalore. It feels like I’m coming home, playing for my own audience,” he says.
(Premaanjali, Christ University Auditorium, Hosur Road on October 31, 7 pm onwards. For tickets, contact Calypso 4121 0889, Sapna Book House, Sadashivnagar 2344 6444, Super Market, Brigade Road 2558 1248, Hotel Tadka Singh 97393 91080)