Source: NewStraitsTimes; Author: In-House Reporter; Photo courtesy: NewStraitsTimes

Sitar player Kumar Karthigesu was honoured as a ‘living treasure’ yesterday. He tells Subhadra Devan why music makes a difference to humanity. Nine well-known artistes, from the arts world, were named National Living Heritage Treasures. One was sitar player 39-year-old Kumar Karthigesu, who was awarded  the Anugerah Karyawan Seni in  2009. A full-time member of the fusion band Akasha, he has been an integral part of the Indian classical scene with the Temple of Fine Arts since 1986, upon his return from studies in Britain. With an early music education in carnatic vocal, mridangam and violin, the Penang-born Kumar expanded on that base when he followed his father, Professor R. Karthigesu, to Leicester, in Britain. There, the 11-year-old was in a guitar class in school when the local education ministry introduced Indian music and dance subjects in schools as part of the curriculum. It was then that Kumar got his first taste of learning the sitar, under Pandit Dharambhir Singh, a young but senior disciple of the renowned Ustad Vilayat Khan.

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