Ravichandra Kulur was initiated into Carnatic classical music at the of six. He initially took up the Mridangam and the Kanjira–South Indian percussion instruments–under the guidance of guru E P Narayana Pishardi.
His father, Professor K Raghavendra Rao, was a respected flutist at the time. Ravi surprised many when he picked up the flute and played it with ease and skill. It appeared that he had inherited his father's ear for music and skill with the flute. Regularly practicing under his father’s guidance, Ravi started performing duets with his father and even held solo concerts at the age of 9.
Brought up in an atmosphere of music and the love of melody and rhythm, Ravi attended many concerts and voraciously listened to classical music on tapes. When he wasn’t listening to music or performing, Ravi would spend hours practicing with his brother K.U.Jayachandra Rao who is a skilled mridangam player and his father. Keen to take up music in the future, he always knew music would play a huge part in his life. During his days at college, Ravi developed a keen interest in other forms of music, experimenting with fusion and world music and discovering Jazz and broadening his knowledge of classical music to include Hindustani classical as well as Carnatic.
After completing his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, Ravi worked for few years all the while nurturing his classical flute-playing and in 1999 he decided to take up music professionally. Ravi has ever since grown as an artist, carving a niche for himself in the field governed by great maestros and emerged as one of the most sought after flutists from India. His powerful lungs, clarity of individuals notes and high-paced fingering techniques are his forte and have been widely regarded with appreciation by music-lovers and critics alike.
Ravi has developed a unique style of playing the flute and plays rare South Indian ragas in complicated rhythmic cycles. His playing field also includes the Bansuri (North Indian flute), western flute and the wind midi controller, Kanjira and vocal percussions .
Accustomed to performing for international audiences and legends of classical music, Ravi has performed in keystone music festivals and famous venues collaborating with artists around the globe. He has extensively toured USA, Canada, UK, UAE, Sweden, Austria, Luxembourg, Finland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Switzerland for his Solo, Duets, Fusion, Jazz concerts and Dance productions.
After listening to Ravi’s recordings, in 2005 legendary musician and ‘Father of World Music’ Pandit Ravi Shankar invited Ravi to join him for the upcoming concerts titled“Festival of India III” in the year 2005-06. The other associated with the previous Festival of India concerts have been the denizens of halls of fame picture frames, greats such as Pandit Hariprasad Chourasia, Dr L.Subramaniam, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and many others. During this time, Pandit Ravi Shankar hailed Ravichandra Kulur as a “fantastic, brilliant and very well known flutist from India”. Ravi also tours & performs regulerly with Anoushka Shankar around the world, reaffirming his position as a sought after flutist. Ravi feels blessed to have worked with Pandit Ravi Shankar and is widening his horizons about North Indian music and world music under the guidance of Ravi Shankar.
To date, Ravi has played more than 900 concerts and participated in music festivals like WOMAD in UK, Roskilde in Denmark, Sfinks in Belgium,San Fransisco Jazz Festival,Helsinki Festival, Bangalore Habba and many more and has to his credit about 300 studio session recordings and performed in major venues like the Carnegie Hall in New York, Kennedy Centre in DC, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Royal Festival Hall in London,the Boston Symphony Hall, Chicago Symphony hall, Millennium Park in Chicago, Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, Baltimore Symphony Hall, Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Zellarbach Auditorim in Univarsity of California at Berkeley , The Jazz café in London, Joes Pub in Newyork ,Opera De Lille in France ,Passionskirche in Berlin ,Vienna Kozerthaus ,Petit Palau in Barcelona, Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool,NCPA Auditorium in Bombay, Narada Gaana Sabha in Chennai and Sirifort in Delhi.
Ravi has also worked with musicians like Dr M.Balamuralikrishna,Dr L Subramaniam, Charlie Mariano, Steve Smith and Vital Information, A K Palanivel, Hariharan, SP Balasubramaniam, Kumaresh and Ganesh, Tarun Bhattacharya, Hans Hartmann, Karsh Kale, Ranjit Barot, Amit Heri, Tanmoy Bose, Kai Eckhardt (John McLaughlin trio) etc.
Ravi is an ‘A’ graded flutist from AIR & Doordarshan and his music has been broadcasted from National Public Radio in USA, FM stations in Belgium, Holland and Germany. His music crosses cultural lines, and popular Berlin FM station “Multi-Kulti” has interviewed Ravi as well. Ravi also had the opportunity of performing for HRH the Prince Charles of Wales in London.
Apart from a solo career, Ravi’s musical ventures include,
1. Layatharanga, six-member South Indian percussion troupe with Ravi as the flutist. Their music has been well received and their take on the world of melody and rhythm is inspirational.
2. Swindia, collaboration of European and Indian musicians resulting in an interesting blend of Indian classical with Jazz and Swiss folk music.
3. Mesmerize, an acoustic - electronic alliance with musicians from Holland making compositions in rare carnatic melody forms & interesting rhythmic cycles .
Ravi has also composed several albums and Dance productions and has worked for Indian, English & German films. He has been conferred with the title “Kala Arathi Rathna” from Arathi school of dance, Phoenix, Arizona.
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