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Young flautist strikes the right note - Abhiram Nanda took lessons from Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 4.02.11
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Bhubaneswar, Feb. 3: The melodious notes from young flautist Abhiram Nanda’s flute can mesmerise any listener. The talented musician, who has carved a niche for himself in the field of classical music, is a known name in the cultural fraternity all over the country. But there are miles to go, believes the instrumentalist.

Hailing from a family of artistes, where father Ashok Kumar Nanda was an amateur theatre actor and flute player though engineer by profession and elder brother Pintu Nanda is a popular actor in the Oriya film industry, Abhiram showed interest for music as a kid. “As a young boy, my father noticed how I would spend hours trying to create music with the flute. I was lucky he encouraged me to make it my career,” he says.

Trained by the leading flautist of the state Pandit Mohini Mohan Patnaik at the Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, Abhiram picked up the nuances of music to turn into a bright and promising flautist himself. To quench his thirst to learn more, he then marched to Mumbai and was accepted as the disciple of eminent exponent Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. “I was given a strong foundation here by Patnaik sir. So guruji (Pandit Chaurasia) accepted me immediately and taught me under the guru-shishya tradition. That has been a life changing experience for me,” says Abhiram. “I am blessed since guruji always showers his love and blessings on me and I have many opportunities to share the stage alongside him,” he says.

In his mid-thirties, Abhiram is presently the most popular flautist to accompany Odissi dancers during national and international performances. “I have performed all over the globe but wish to promote Odissi music and Indian classical music in a more active way,” he says.

The national youth award winner for flute for 1995 National Youth Festival held in Goa, Abhiram believes flute has a special place in Odissi music. “In Odissi music, it is mostly hymns on Lord Krishna that are portrayed devotionally by the dancer. Thus, flute is an integral part of our music style,” he believes.

While he accepts his riyaz hours have come down from 14 to seven, Abhiram says he is now busy with a number of shows and fusion music, something that interests him. “The youth all over the world love each other’s music when offered as a blend. So I work on many compositions of fusion,” says the flautist. His fusion album with Jazz musicians in America, released in 2009, received rave response from music enthusiasts all over the world.

“The response to this music album, Mango Blossoms Unveiled, was very encouraging. I’m currently working on many more such compositions,” he informed. Abhiram is married to Odissi dancer Sonali Mohapatra.