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 About the Artiste

Madras String Quartet,Chennai

The Madras String Quartet (MSQ) was founded in 1993. From a modest beginning, the group has expanded their activities from mere concert performances to recording, teaching and conducting workshops.

1) V.S. Narasimhan: Narasimhan belongs to a family of musicians. His father was a Gottuvadyam ( a stringed instrument like the Veena) player. He took his music training in Western classical style on the violin from Mr. A.LíArmand. He started working in the films in 1959 and has been acknowledged as one for the finest in business. His association with the famous South Indian film composer Ilayaraaja has brought many laurels to him. Particularly in a non-film album called "How to Name it" which was released in 1987. The music featured solo parts written for the violin backed by a small orchestra. It featured experimental fusion music of Carnatic, Folk and Western music. Narasimhan has also written music for many films and private albums. He is currently working on some new compositions for the quartet.

Although passionate about the Eastern European style of playing violin, he has great respect for other schools of violin playing like the Russian, and the West European styles.

2) V.R. Sekar (Cello): Son of one of the most popular South Indian classical musician/ composer Kunnakudi R. Vaidyanathan. Besides playing for films, Sekar also has been involved with many private musical albums of leading Indian composers like Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ilayaraaja, A.R. Rahman, Salim - Sulaiman, etc. Sekarís enthusiasm for the Western Classical music has opened up new areas in music like the beauty of playing ensemble and the dynamism of the Cello and its deeper sounds that are only heard when one plays pieces like the Cello sonatas of Bach. He considers meeting the great Cellist Rostropovich for a "master class" as one of his finest moments in his musical life.

Being a strong critic of bad technique and expressionless playing, Sekar plays, listens and talks about music as though he is possessed by it!

3) B.J. Chandran (Viola): A talented player who also plays for films. His involvement with the quartet over the years has sharpened his playing and his perceptions about music and musical interpretations. Chandran is basically a violinist; but the need to fill in the gap of a voila player at the time of forming the quartet has made him take up this new role.

4) Hemanthraj Muliyil (Violin): Right from his child-hood Hemanthraj had a great passion for music. He had his early training from a violin teacher in his hometown Calicut. He became a member of the Calicut Musical Association and had the opportunity to sing tenor in the choir and play the violin for many musical programs.

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