An introduction to the multi-talented Carnatic violinist Shreya Devnath

Pianist Rekesh Chauhan recently performed a breathtaking set with tabla player Kousic Sen at Band on the Wall and we’re thrilled that the latterly mentioned percussionist will be involved in another New North and South concert with young violinist, ensemble leader and multi-talented artist Shreya Devnath next month.

Described by Chauhan as ‘a percussionist who I’ve always looked up to’ – Sen has been performing and educating for many years and is a proud representative of the Banaras Gharana: a tabla playing style developing during the last 200 years and popular within the small ensemble or solo performance parameters. He divides his time between the UK and Kolkata, in order to collaborate with a broad range of musicians tied to Western, Middle Eastern and Indian music movements.

Shreya Devnath leads the forthcoming concert at The Bridgewater Hall’s Barbirolli Room on Sunday 25th March and she is an artist we highly recommend familiarising yourself with. Her lifestyle and various creative pursuits are all informed by her love of art and as she said at a recent London performance, “Art is to Express, not to Impress”. Her expressive playing dazzled journalist for The Hindu Gudipoodi Srihari in 2015, who credited her for ‘playing her instrument with leisurely grace, producing pure classicism that recalls the style of her guru’ – the renowned late maestro Lalgudi Jayaraman. Despite her relative youth, she’s considered an authority on the use of the violin in Carnatic music and gives talks, classes and performances on the subject as well as performing as a vocalist too. Aside from music, which has taken her to Dubai, Sri Lanka and the UK in the last 12 months – she has also secured a Masters Degree in Economics and continues to write poetry and design visual art in correspondence with her musical work.

She’s a truly inspirational figure in contemporary Indian music and we hope you find her performance next month to be a life-affirming experience. We’re confident a supporting cast of RN Prakash on mridangam, Pujenthan Sivagurunathan on kanjira and the aforementioned Sen on tabla will make that so.