Music is my passion and hobby too...I was inspired by Ganesh and Kumaresh, the noted violinists from Mysore. I love Carnatic classical music since it is structured, lively and paced. Although there are stylistic differences with the Hindustani Classical format, I prefer this style. My favourite raga is Keeravani. I almost spend more than one and half hours on the violin each day, but do 3-4 hours of practice when we are performing for concerts”, says Tejas Manjunath.
In the world of classical music, Tejas and Pranav Manjunath have carved a name for themselves as promising and budding artistes from Bangalore. It is not just music but they are outstanding students with excellent academic performances too. In their relevant fields, they hope to do well whether it is bio-medical engineering or the tough financial world. Tejas has even recorded an audio CD as an accompanying artist in the US and recently released another CD, playing devotional music on the keyboard. Born and brought up in the US, they showed a lot of interest and inclination towards classical music. They started their violin lessons at the age of eight.
The younger brother Pranav Manjunath avers, “Since ours is a musical family, I opted to learn music. I have been inspired by L Shankar, Dr L Subramaniam, M Balamuralikrishna, Ganesh and Kumaresh, Dr Mysore Manjunath and Mysore Nagaraj. In fact, the violin maestros have inspired me a lot. I love this form of music since the focus is on notes and rhythm.
I would like to achieve the highest standards in music. My favorite raga is Dwijavanti and Kalyani. I expend more than two hours for music everyday and we both practice music for four hours during important concerts.”
Tejas is studying in the 11th grade and Pranav, a student of 9th grade are outstanding students at the Mallya Aditi International School. Both have been trained in Carnatic as well as Western classical style and are members of the school orchestra. Presently, they are under the tutelage of Vidwan Sri Yashaswi at the Vagadheeshwari Kala Kendra.
Regarding their preference for Bangalore than Chennai to learn music, Tejas said, “Bangalore is our hometown, and all our family, relatives are here...The music culture in India has a history spanning millenia and remains fundamental to our traditions compared to the US.”
According to the younger brother, the melody, the amazing range of music attracted him while the spiritual inspiration and cultural expression in India, he says is more valuable when compared to the US.
The proud mother, Suma said, “One of the main reasons to move back to India was to enable their training in classical music and utilise this opportunity to gain knowledge of culture, language and tradition, so that they could become true cultural ambassadors when they grow up.”
The duo added, “We were encouraged and recognised by our parents, teachers and friends a lot which gave us moral support.”
Initially they were trained in Carnatic Classical by Vidwan Smt. Tara Anand, Anubhava School of Music, Boston, USA, followed by Vidwan Smt. Lalgudi Rajalakshmi and briefly with Vidwan Smt. Charulatha Ramanujam both from Bangalore. The upcoming youngsters have performed at various levels and places including several charity events in USA and India.
Two-hour-long concerts includes Kamat Bugle Rock, Basavanagudi, Indian Institute of World Culture, Sri B V Narayan Reddy Memorial Endowment programme and a recent concert at the Bharatiya Vidhya Bhavan. They have won several prizes in music contests including a recent one from Swararnava School of Music.
Apart from this, they have both served as student volunteers at the Annual Music Conference organised by Learn Quest Music Academy, Boston, USA. The list of forthcoming performances include two-hour concerts in Bangalore (Shringeri Mutt, Girinagar) and Chennai.
So what’s next for these musicians? “I would like to become a Biomedical engineer and keep playing the violin as music is a big part of my life”, said Tejas. “My ambition is to become a businessman and I hope to own a company one day but at the same time, achieve a degree in music...”, concludes Pranav.