Parasuraman SunderRajan

South Indian Carnatic violin

Master artist Parasuraman SunderRajan (left) and his 2008 apprentice Kiran Athreya.South Indian Carnatic music is one of the oldest forms of music; it can be traced back to 5th century A.D.  This tradition has a rich heritage and is perfectly attuned with Indian culture and religion.  Carnatic music is based on a 22 note scale contrary to the 12 note scale that is used in Western classical music.  A unique blend of tehse notes create separate raga (melodic modes).  The violin was imported from the West and was used in Carnatic music for the first time in the 18th century, and gained importance during the 20th century.  Now, the violin is in integral part of Carnatic music.

Parasuraman SunderRajan has studied Carnatic violin since 1975, learning from Guru V. Janaki Raman in New Dehli, India.  Parasuraman frequently teaches and performs as a soloist and concert accompanist throughout the country.  Of the importance of Carnatic music, Parasuraman says, "This artistic tradition is known not only for its musical content but also for the devotional component.  As the South Indian Brahmin community is very religious, this art form is cherised and practiced for both aspects."

In 2008, Parasuraman was a master artist in ACTA's Apprenticeship Program, with apprentice Kiran Athreya.  The apprenticeship focused on solo playing for concerts, accompaniment for vocal concerts, playing the raga Malike (Garland of Tunes), expansion of select ragas, and creative aspects of Carnatic music.

In 2005, Parasuraman was a master artists in ACTA's Apprenticeship Program, with apprentice Arun Ramamurthi.  During the apprenticeship, Parasuraman taught his technique to Arun, an already advanced performer.


Click on any image to view slideshow.

From left: Gridhar Athreya holding Kishan, Parasuraman SunderRajan, Kiran Athreya, and Mallika Athreya (Photo: Sherwood Chen)
Parasuraman SunderRajan (left) instructs Kiran Athreya during one of their lessons in Carnatic violin (Photo: Sherwood Chen)
Parasuraman SunderRajan (right) with his 2005 apprentice Arun Ramamurthi (Photo courtesy of Parasuraman SunderRajan)

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