Harsh Narayan: Stringing A Sarangi Legacy

Harsh Narayan: Stringing A Sarangi Legacy

The musically gifted Harsh Narayan is the third generation of a distinguished family of traditional sarangi musicians. He is the son of sarod legend Brij Narayan and grandson Padma Vibhushan Pandit Ram Narayan and is carrying forward the rich legacy of the Kirana & Maihar Gharana (School Of Music) with a single minded dedication. Interestingly, Harsh Narayan’s great ancestral grandfather, Bagaji Biyavat, was a singer from Amber, and he and Narayan’s great-grandfather, Sagad Danji Biyavat, sang at the court of the Maharana of Udaipur.

Born on 27th February 1985, Harsh Narayan is brought up in the family of illustrious musicians in Mumbai. Since early childhood, Hindustani Classical Musical has been a part of his upbringing. With a treasured experience of listening to his grandfather Pandit Ram Narayan and father Pandit Brij Narayan in various performances worldwide, it has given him huge inspiration and strong influence from the commencement of his musical journey.

Since the tender age of 6, Harsh’s musicianship was developed and natural talent was exposed under the guiding wings of his illustrious mentor & grandfather as well as the inspiration he received from his grand uncle Pandit Chatur Lal.

While his incessant training as a musician, Harsh Narayan completed his education. He is a commerce graduate from MMK College (Mumbai) and has a MBA degree in Marketing.

He has performed and recorded with many Indian Classical Musicians worldwide and has released his first solo album “Scintillating Sarangi” (Times Music India, 2016).

In the musical upbringing of Harsh Narayan, there has never been emphasis on gharanas. Although time and again, there are discussions as to what are the qualities of different gharanas but as a student, there is never a discussion on this subject beyond a point which gives him freedom to ripen his distinctive style of music.

Harsh Narayan considers his most significant achievement to be able to accompany his grandfather in his concerts all over India and Europe for the first 12 years of his musical career. This has not only helped him gain a lot of experience and knowledge but also made him present himself as a soloist in musical concerts.

Today, when Harsh Narayan performs abroad, he witnesses that sarangi is not only an instrument restricted to Indian music anymore rather it’s a world music instrument which is being learnt by the Western, Chinese and Japanese music students.

Harsh Narayan believes that the greatest challenge faced by the audience is understanding Hindustani Classical Music. This is especially the case of the younger generation who treat Hindustani Classical Music as a source of entertainment. He has further noticed that due to this reason, most of the new-gen musician’s performance blends ‘jazz’ with classical music to win the hearts of the audience. Thus, it is diluting the purist of classical music in the western style of music.

His vision is to see sarangi being taught as a subject in music universities across the globe and people taking more notice of this matchless instrument. Since his grandfather has worked extremely hard to bring the sarangi up as a solo instrument, he wants to be remembered as an artist who stood up to the cause for years by presenting the instrument in the most prestigious and respectable way.

Harsh Narayan’s strong musical foundation, a well-rounded and rigorous training by a family of maestros, lead to a virtuosity that can be witnessed in his concert presentations, where the depth of his musical perception has earned him an “A” graded artist rating from All India Radio. His total command of sarangi playing technique allows him an enviable degree of creative freedom, coaxing the inherent musicality out of the instrument, with the flair of a seasoned performer.



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