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Interview with Lakshmi Shankar Back
13. Do you think the Gharana system and Guru Shishya Parampara tradition is as strong today as it was in the past? Is it a tradition that can still work when both students and teachers travel and have great distances between them? ? Is there any differentiation in teaching between your children who learn from you and your other students?
Unfortunately, no. Both Gharana and Guru-Shishya Parampara have definitely declined due to unavoidable circumstances and way of life! Learning under proper gurus is a difficult task – too much of traveling does hinder the learning as a student needs constant guidance in learning and practice. If a person wanted to be a musician they would have to dedicate their entire life in pursuit of music, but education has become very important. No. There is no difference in how we teach a student or our own child. It depends how much they are able to grasp, retain, and practice. The children of course have the advantage of their genes and surrounding in that they are immersed in an atmosphere of music.
14. What do you think the role of music in general is in today’s society?
CDs I think are the best form of documentation. It has helped very much in spreading music wildly.
15. How do you think Indian Classical Music is perceived today and where do you see it tomorrow?
Music is Divine. Music creates beautiful thoughts. Peace. It is a gift from God. To pursue it or to destroy it is in your hands.
16. If you had to isolate one event in your life as being the most memorable what would it be and why?
There have been many, many memorable events in the 50 years of my career. It is difficult to pin it down. But I was thrilled to sing “Vaishnava Janna,” in the Westminster Abbey, London for the celebration of 25 years of Independence in Britain. It must be because of the awesome, great historical atmosphere of the venue.
17. Would you recommend a career as a musician to youngsters today? If yes, what pit falls should they be on the look out for?
My recommendation for a musical career would be to a person who loves and adores music. It is a gift of god – besides talent, hard work, obsession, and dedication under the right Guru are the only things which can goad you to reach your goal. It is an extremely hard life, with a lot of sacrifice, uncertainty, and pitfalls. But determination and sincerity and God’s will can make you achieve your wish.

Press Quotes

“Lakshmi Shankar holds her listeners spell-bound... her whole presentation, suffused as it were with tender lyricism, leaves nothing to be desired. It is perfect in itself.” Times of India

'Lakshmi Shankar’s performance sent the audience into ecstasies...' - The Times, London

No one at the festival communicated so much, so directly and so beautifully. Lakshmi Shankar displayed an elegant virtuosity and musical complexity unknown to the tradition which represents the coloratura soprano as the highest achievement of the female voice.’ - Shiraz Festival, Iran

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