When did you start playing your respective instruments?
U Srinivas: I started playing the Mandolin from age 6.
B Vijayagopal: I started playing flute from the age of 5 and had my first concert at the age of 6.
What does music mean to you?
U Srinivas: Music is everything to me.
B Vijayagopal: Music is this constant presence in my life. Being a qualified doctor (orthodontist), I can probably say it’s like a vital organ in my body. It’s a quest, adventure and philosophy, all at the same time.
Tell us about the significant breakthroughs you have had in your musical career so far?
U Srinivas: Major breakthrough in my musical career has been of getting the opportunity of playing alongside legends like Ptd Jasraj ji, Ptd Shivkumar Sharma, Ptd Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ustad Allarakha Saab, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Ustad Sultan Khan, John Mclaughlin, Michael Brook, Michael Nyman, L.Subramaniam, Shankar Mahadevan and Hariharaan.
B Vijayagopal: Some of the breakthroughs in my career are --- The AIR sangeeth sammelan concert, I played in a few years ago; being nominated as the resident artiste ( Asthana Vidwan) of the Kanchi Sankara Mutt; the prestigious national broadcast concert at the Thiruvaiyaru Thyagaraja utsavam; having got the chance to perform in concerts at the Cleveland festival and Sydney music festival, and having played with the mrudangam legend and Padma Vibhushan awardee Sri.Umayalpuram Sivaraman, in over 50 concerts.
Pune being the cultural hub of the country has seen many a stalwarts of different genres of music perform here. What do you have to say about Puneites as an audience? Have you performed in the city before?
U Srinivas: It has always been a great experience playing in Pune . I had played here before with Shakti and with other different musicians and the audience in this city is very inspiring and great.
B Vijayagopal: This is my first concert in Pune. I’m eagerly looking forward to it. I have heard a lot of great things from other artists about the ‘music-loving audience’ in Pune.
Are you performing in Dakshinayan for the first time? What do you have planned for this year’s performance in Pune?
U Srinivas: I had performed in Dakshinayan earlier as well, but this is will be my first in Dakshinayan, Pune and I’m excited.
B Vijayagopal: I had performed at Dakshinayan, Mumbai last year. This year I have a list of some popular compositions and a selection of eclectic raags planned.
With the introduction of western music and bollywood music, do you think classical music has taken a back seat?
U Srinivas: Indian classical music is the root for all experiments. Both Hindustani and Carnatic music styles are great. The reason why I’m able to collaborate with international musicians is because I have a strong foundation of Indian classical music.
B Vijayagopal: Classical music has been around for a very very long time and I don’t think other forms of music can take its sheen away. I feel the popularity has only grown and with any other art form a concerted PR effort and good publicity can only increase the audience base much more.