Peri Thyagaraju grew up listening to classical music. “As a child, I used to go to sleep listening to beautiful music played by my father Peri Sreeramamurthy, a well known Carnatic music violinist. My grandfather, Peri Subba Rao played a three-hour violin concert even at the age of 90. He spotted me tapping cylinders, buckets, doors and shaking my legs trying to give rhythm to his music. So, there was no escape from it,” recalls Thyagaraju.
He adds, “My grandfather’s dream of all the three generations performing together was fulfilled in Vizianagaram, where we played as a violin trio for the first time. After that, we played at more than forty concerts. My grandmother Subhadra used to enjoy singing bhajans, while my mother Renuka Mani continues teaching music to the younger generation. She decided that I should discontinue studies to concentrate on music. But whenever I got time, I studied and gave all exams till graduation.”
Thyagaraju has also mastered Western music. He says, “My father insisted that I also learn Western music although initially, I did not understand why. My training with John Marthand has really opened up a new space in my music journey. Western music has many techniques in terms of bowing, finger adjustment, sound production and chord progression. I would have missed it had I been immersed in the traditional Carnatic music domain alone.”
Narrating an unforgettable experience, he says, “Many years ago, my father was to accompany Vidwan Dr Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna at Lalitha Kala Thoranam. As the concert progressed, he told my father that I would have to accompany him for the song Nagumomu set in Raga Abheri. Later, he told my father that I had shown technical finesse and praised him for having taught me the finer nuances of Carnatic music.”
Thyagaraju has been giving music for Telugu, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam and Bengali films, working with well known music directors like M.M. Keeravani, R.P .Patnaik, Mani Sharma, Koti, Vishal Shekhar and Anup Rubens. “I’m playing in an upcoming music video Monsoon Love alongside singer Damini Bhatla and keyboard artiste Bharat,” he says and adds, “Hyderabad is emerging as a place where we can have more music festivals and opportunities to work with international artistes. The audience appreciates all genres, which is great for versatile musicians.”...