Young Carnatic Music Masters due in Auckland, Hamilton

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Venkat Raman

Three young masters, each with a record of critical acclaim will jointly perform at two Carnatic Music Concerts, one each in Auckland and Hamilton next month.

Auckland Concert

Vignesh Ishwar (Vocal), L Ramakrishnan (Violin) and Tanjore Praveen Kumar (Mridangam), popularly known as ‘Praveen Sparsh,’ will form the trio in the ‘Emerging Masters Series’ of the Auckland based Rasikas New Zealand and Sangeetha Bharathi Music School.

The Concert will be held from 530 pm on Saturday, September 7, 2019 at Raye Freedman Arts Centre, located at the Corner of Silver Road and Gillies Avenue in Epsom, Auckland.

Tickets priced at $25 (Adult) and $20 (For Seniors above 65, Students and Children with ID) are on sale. Please visit www.

Hamilton Concert

The three artistes will present their second Concert in Hamilton on Sunday, September 8, 2019 at 4 pm at Peachgrove Intermediate School, located at 72, Peachgrove Road, Hamilton East.

Raaga Hamilton, established by Veena and Vocal artiste Malathi Vasudevan (a Chartered Accountant by profession) in 2009 to promote Carnatic and Hindustani Music, is organising the event.

Tickets priced at $15 per person are now on sale. For details, please contact Malathi Vasudevan on 021-942699 or Mathy Yoganraj on 021-1222324.

Vignesh Ishwar

An appropriate choice for the ‘Emerging Masters Series, Vignesh Ishwar brings freshness, energy and a certain style that is inimitable to Carnatic Music. His plangent voice enables in rendition of many ragas that need resounding interpretation.

Carnatic Music experts say that there is a brilliant marriage of the syllables of the words in the lyrics and music of great composers such as Thyagaraja, Shyama Shastri and Muthuswami Dikshitar. It is therefore important to gain a feel of the words, the movement of the music and the pressure applied at every syllable in the context of the music more than the meaning of the word.

Vignesh told The Hindu during an interview, “The meaning of the lyrics does, to an extent, give us a better understanding of the intent of the Kriti. Knowing the meaning also acts as an aid to memory. As far as inner meanings go, it is very exciting for me when the hidden meaning of a metaphor in a kritis is deciphered.”

His Gurus speak for his wide repertoire- Palakkad T S Anantharama Bhagawathar who initiated him into Carnatic Music at a young age and T M Krishna who has been his mentor and guide since 2008.

L Ramakrishnan

If Violin is a challenging instrument, Lakshmanan Ramakrishnan accepted it when he was just two years old and began lessons with Visalam Vageeshwar at the Shanmukhananda Vidyalaya, Mumbai. He was later trained by Violin Maestro A Kanyakumari and continues to be one of her senior-most disciples. He also learnt the nuances of being a Violinist under the guidance of great Masters such as T K Govinda Rao and T R Balamani.

Ramakrishnan has accompanied Kanyakumari in her performances and in her grand musical ensembles on several occasions.

Adept at rendering Keerthanams, Varnams, Padams and Javalis, he is a recipient of numerous awards including Naada Bhooshanam from Nadopasana, First prize in the AIR competition held in 2000, Best Violinist in Sub-Senior slot – Music Season at the Music Academy, Krishna Gana Sabha and Indian Fine Arts.

Ramakrishnan is a popular artist respected all over India and abroad.

Tanjore Praveen Kumar

Better known as Praveen ‘Sparsh’ (named after his music group), Tanjore Praveen Kumar started playing the Mridangam at a tender age of five, debuting at the Vinayagar Kovil in Besant Nagar, Chennai.

As the grandson of Mridangam Maestro the late Tanjore Upendran, and as a disciple of Guruvayoor Dorai, Praveen has learnt to jell with the main performing artiste at music concerts in which he is not the main artiste.

“I was told by Dorai Mama to ‘first learn to listen to what I am singing’ and since then I have followed his advice. This has helped me to develop the art,” Praveen said.

He is one of the most sought after Mridangam exponents in the field of Carnatic music and performs regularly with stalwarts.


  1. Vignesh Ishwar (From Facebook)
  2. L Ramakrishnan (From Twitter)
  3. Praveen Sparsh (From Instagram)

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