Famed New York-based guitarist R. Prasanna is down in the city to perform at a few concerts thisÊseason, with the first done and dusted at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore.
Here, alongside him on stage was young Raghav, also from the USA and playing Carnatic music on the guitar.
Prasanna says that five of his teenage sishyas flew in from different places abroad to perform at sabha halls, some alongside him and some independently.
"The past year I have been deeply into teaching Carnatic music", says the guitarist.
And how did that happen? "There was some trigger that went off in me after Mandolin Srinivas passed away. I felt that it was time to share my knowledge with young people."
Prasanna says he has even reduced his concert playing plans in order to make time for music teaching.
He says that Mandolin Srinivas concert playing inspired him to take to learning Carnatic music seriously to play it on the guitar. He was then a well-known pop and rock music guitarist, from his IIT-Madras days.
"Srinivas was slightly younger to me but it was his music that set the trigger," says Prasanna.
On Dec.24 morning, Prasanna performed at the Chennaiyil Thiruvaiyaru' fest at Kamaraj Arangham. A few of his sishyas were expected to play alongside. Among them is Shyam, from the USA who has bagged all the top prizes in Carnatic music back there.
"He is a trained heavy metal musician. It will be good to watch how he progresses in Carnatic music," says Prasanna.
One concert that would have been interesting was the one scheduled of Prasanna and Ravikiran on the chitravina at Krishna Gana Sabha.