<Basavanagudi G. Nataraj>

Amrit, born on December 14th, was initiated into South Indian Classical Music at the age of 5, by his parents Smt. N.Lakshmi & Vidwan Basavanagudi Shri G.Nataraj (Renowned Violinist of Karnataka). For a prodigious child that he was, it took an effort of three years from then to reach the performing stage. As though pre-ordained, he developed a deep admiration for the instrument Khanjira. Initially he played the Khanjira experimenting with his own techniques; later his unmistakable passion for performing on the instrument led him seeking a right guru.

Vidwan Shri M. Vasudeva Rao accepted to take Amrit as his disciple and laid the strong foundation of ‘RHYTHM’ and initiated him into the path of organised learning for over a decade.

An urge for advanced skills in Mridangam took Amrit to the ‘Mridangam Maestro’ Vidwan Shri A.V.Anand, from whom he understood the finer nuances of Mridangam playing and presentation in depth.

But on the other side, Amrit had become a staunch follower of the ‘Legend of Khanjira’ at a very early age. He was enthralled & awe-struck by the performances of the ‘Great Master’. He was inspired to such extent that he started to imbibe the Style & Techniques of the ‘Legendary Master’ having him as his ‘IDOL’ & ‘ROLE MODEL’. This was happening only through listening to the Maestro’s audio tapes and concerts. As this listening & practising continued, his passion & understanding grew intense. His Khanjira performances grew to flights of varied musical imagination. Performance inspired pursuit which in turn enriched the performance. This cycle had to roll on to higher planes of music. This would not be possible were it not for the Legendary Vidwan Shri G. Harishankar to have recognized him and accepted to hone his talent. This happened with an additional reward of Cejquerycssmenuntral Government National Scholarship. The Story of accosting his ‘Idol’, The ‘Legendary Maestro’ Shri G. Harishankar as his Guru, is a moment of great pride in Amrit’s life.

Over the years Shri G. Harishankar imparted unbounded knowledge to Amrit. Learning under the great maestro was like a ‘Dream come true! ’. Shri G. Harishankar not only taught Amrit the technique to play the Khanjira also showed him the path of approaching towards refining the performances. His Guru’s sudden and unexpected demise left a ‘never to be filled’ void not only in Carnatic Music, but also in Amrit’s life. This was not only due to Khanjira training, but also personally. Amrit had the proud privilege of sharing a very close personal relationship with his Guru Shri G Harishankar. However the beacon light of Shri G. Harishankar’s life, playing and teachings would ever remain the guiding force for Amrit.

Now it is not only the passion for the instrument but also with the added delicate responsibility of being the torch bearer of the ‘Shri G Harishankar Tradition of Khanjira’, has propelled his performance to unmatched heights.

Empowered by Blessings of Parents, Guru s & Elders, Knowledge and Meticulous practice, Amrit continues to journey into the world and horizons of Khanjira.

@2010 www.amritkhanjira.com