H. N. Bhaskar
H.N. Bhaskar (HNB) is the son of HKN Murthy. He was only 3 years old when I became disciple of my teacher HKN. He was present at the time when my vocal teacher T. R. Srinivasan introduced me to my guru in the April of 1980. He already had a very well developed sense of shruti. I remember vividly, his presence during my practice in the morning hours of those early years. Holding a small violin fit for his size, he used to sit with me and valiantly attempt advance scales (or sathakas) and quite frequently pull it off. As he grew past 7 years, he was a regular practice mate, and this continued for the next 15 years whenever I was in town. I distinctly remember one morning when he was 9 years old, we played Mandari Varnam 25 times without let up, to Bhaskar’s mother’s (Rajalakshmi madam) tala. HKN, one of the gentlest among people I know, had a slightly different side to him, with those students who he thought had genuine musical talent and will go somewhere. He was very strict about standards without wearing it on his lapels. I was one of those chosen ones who got it from my teacher often, but the toughest treatment was reserved for his son HNB. I never once remember HNB, a model child in many ways, responding back.
After many years of advance training under his father, he left Mysore to study with MSG. HNB made rapid strides and has gone on to become one of the top violinists of his generation in all aspects of violin playing; accompaniment, solo and experimentation in new genre. I have heard MSG tell me on more than one occasion “what a brilliant violinist HNB is”.
He has won top prizes several times at the Madras Music Academy, once fittingly, Parur Sundaram Iyer Prize for best violin accompaniment. He was recently awarded the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar by the Sangeet Natak Academy.
A much sought after violinist, he has accompanied many of the major figures in Carnatic music. Just last year he has accompanied some of them at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Sydney Opera House.
Kansas City, March 2015
Mysore, India 1984. HNB (bottom left) with Purna (seated, right).
HNB with Director Ang Lee, after concert at Carnegie Hall, NYC.