Carnatic Violin Duet Concert
Ganesh and Kumaresh
Sunday, May 1st, 2011 @ 4:00 PM
Ethical Society Hall
9001 Clayton Road
St. Louis, MO 63117
Tickets: $15 General, $10 Students
Free for Sangeetha Members
Though popularly known as artists, musicians, performers, composers, directors, producers, researchers and teachers, the violin maestros Ganesh and Kumaresh consider themselves students of life and existence. They are on continuous search for comprehending the essential qualities of nature’s creative idioms by connecting to it seamlessly with their own inner creative resource. The brothers believe that musicians themselves need to redefine the art form by the mere force of intent, practice & surrender, rather than letting scholars do that.
The brothers, who were hailed as ‘Child Violin Prodigies’, gave their first public performance in the year 1972, when Ganesh was just 7 years and Kumaresh 5 years. Since then, the brothers have performed in different places in India and in a number of countries across the globe.
Ganesh Kumaresh have been the only violin duo to have performed for more than three decades together. The brothers have carved a niche for Indian instrumental music with their impeccable and remarkable technique both in playing the instrument and in interpreting the musical forms. Their music is laden with virtuosity and brims with soul stirring creativity, soaked in classicism.
Trained by their father Shri T. S. Rajagopalan, a veteran violinist, Ganesh Kumaresh completed their hundredth stage appearance before the younger brother was ten years of age. By the time they were into their teens, they were performing with the veterans in the musical field.
Ganesh Kumaresh are today a much honored and widely traveled musical team. They have made inspirational and exhilarating forays into world music teaming up with such luminaries as Dr. Balamurali Krishna, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Vikku Vinayakaram, Late Valangaiman Shanmugasundaram,A R Rehman, John Mclaughin, Illayaraja, Rajan Mishra, Sajan Mishra, Umalayapuram Sivaraman, Palghat Raghu, T K Murthy, Steve Thornton, Trilok Gurtu and the list is truly long.
Their deep-rooted strength in playing Carnatic Music in the traditional way has made them the favorites with the purists as well as the uninitiated.
Their strict adherence to classicism and their virtuosity with an innovative approach in their presentation has earned the appreciation of thousands of music lovers across the globe. The brothers have given new dimensions to the realm of music and have brought out a refreshingly original content and style for this form of art. Having performed in several top notch global festivals, their creative idiom is international in nature and their communication through music crosses all boundaries. Their musical caliber is recognized worldwide.
They have been responsible in making violin, which was all along considered a mere accompanying instrument, occupy the centre stage of a concert platform.
Distinctions Achieved and Awards and Honours Received
1. First and only violin duo to play and perform as violin duo and not as accompanists
2. Their first public appearance was in 1972 at the All India Radio pavilion of ASIA’72 at the Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.
3. Ganesh Kumaresh represented the nation in the ASIA PASIFIC FESTIVAL – 2003, organized by Indian Centre for Cultural Relations – ICCR, in Berlin, Germany.
4. Youngest violinists of Tamil Nadu Government’s KALAIMAMANI award (in the year 1997)
5. Youngest artists to be made as the ‘State Artistes of Tamil Nadu’ (in the year 1984) by the Government of Tamil Nadu.
6. Youngest Violin Artists to receive the “A – TOP” rating by the All India Radio (in 1995.)
7. Honoured with the title “Asthana Vidwans” by Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt
8. Honoured with the title “Asthana Vidwans” by Srimad Andavan Ashramam Srirangam
9. Recipients of “ Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu Award” from the then CM of Andhra Pradesh, Shri Vijayabaskar Reddy
10. Some of the titles received by them are – “Sunadha Siromani”, “Sangeetha Saragnya” etc.
Creative Contributions and Innovations
1. Apart from the regular Carnatic Music concerts, they have made many thematic presentations
i) The other album ‘ COLOURS OF INDIA’, projects our nations unity among diversities. It is a colourful instrumental representation of the cultural ethos of the different regions of India through musical melodies. This presentation aims at awakening the spirit of pride and patriotism.
ii) The other album presented a unique concept called ‘AKSHARAM’ – This is an effort to combine melody, numbers, music, mantras and slokas. Ganesh Kumaresh have taken five, six, seven, eight and nine note ragas, connected them to the corresponding talas and also have incorporated mantras equivalent to the number of notes
iii) The seasons and festivals of India are musically represented in another presentation called SEASONS. Each season is represented using an appropriate raga. (In the process Ganesh Kumaresh have introduced a new raga HEMANTH invented by them, which picturises one season).
iv) They have presented whole concerts based on the concept of GRAHABEDAM. And followed with an Album SHADJAM.
v) Another album titled MANORANJANI depicted a garland of different ragas with suffixes of RANJANI
2. They have introduced a new musical expression called RAGAPRAVAHAM to Carnatic Music. It is a total musical creativity of pure melody – not dependent on language or religious flavours. Ragapravaham is a presentation of carnatic music in its purest form based on the typical ragas (melodic scales) and typical thalas (rhythmic cycles) sans lyrics. Ganesh Kumaresh have composed several such instrumental compositions that bring out the beauty of the respective instruments. This is what they consider their humble contribution to the heritage of carnatic music
3. Their typical presentations in contemporary music is presented in albums like ‘CARNATICCHILLS’ , ‘ EXPRESSIONS’ , ‘SPARK’ .’ NAVARASA’, ‘BRAHMA’.
4. The brothers have taken part in National Unity building music projects like ‘ JAI HIND’, ‘JANA GANA MANA’…. VANDE MATARAM
5. Ganesh Kumaresh have regularly collaborated with legendary Music Directors like AR Rehman, Ilaya Raja in many of their musical outputs.
6. They have scored music for feature films like ‘ Dance like a Man’ and tele film ‘Chandrikayin Kadhai’ and have composed music for many jingles and advertisements
7. The brothers have set music for dance ballets like – ‘Maya Ravan’, ‘Savithri’, ‘Vinayaka’, ‘Srishti’, Zappereockel (a German play).
8. They have scored music for different and special situations in commercial movies and art films.
9. The brothers innovatively use vadhi- samvadhi notes as an important feature in developing a melodic structure of a raga.
10. The have introduced and explored the presentation of Kalpanaswaram on the basis of different rhythmic patterns.
11. Ganesh Kumaresh have created new ragas like Hemantha Mohanasri Amrutha Kalyan. Sheila sri Pamara Ranjani
12. They have also composed many Varnams. Thillanas and Kruthis.
13. They have codified the technique of playing violin and have been teaching the students accordingly.
14. They have set tunes for lyrics of great composers like Purandaradasar, Bhadrachala Ramadasar, Annamacharaya, Vallalar ,Patanjali which are followed by other eminent musicians as well.
15. They have even set tunes for the lyrics of contemporary poets like Gangai Amaran, Kannadasan, Ulundurpettai Shanmugam, Kavi Kannan etc.
16. Apart from his mastery over violin, Ganesh is also an outstanding Vocalist, with the A – GRADE in Vocal Music, given by the All India Radio. He has given a number of Vocal music performance and albums
17. The brothers are currently researching on the possibility of Dhanur Veena, an instrument referred in our ancient scriptures, being the origin of the modern
Testimonials which the brothers have received from great musicians and scholars………
1. Dr Balamuralikrishna…..
“ Ganesh Kumaresh have contributed to the enrichment of Indian style of violin playing. Their music bridges the gap between the young and the old and opens up fresh ideas and creativity”.
2.. Ustad Zakir Hussain…
“ Ganesh Kumaresh belong to the ranks of great living performers of Indian Music. I have performed with them in the USA and Europe and in India. They are creative in their performances and their style includes a unique touch that expresses every emotion in a raga”.
3.MS Gopalakrishnan (Legendry Violinist)…..
“Ganesh Kumaresh are the best violinists of the present generation”