What they say...
“One of the few instances when you hear a new musician and your heart jumps with joy and you get the feeling that this is someone who’s descended straight from up; and he’s got his art form straight from above because some musicians…they don’t need 1000 notes to communicate; they just need to play to three nodes and they touch your heart. Trust me, you know, the same feeling I used to get when I heard mandolin U Srinivas… after a long time we have a musician of this caliber, so please go check him out.”
Shankar Mahadevan - Padma Shri
“Sometimes there’s no requirement to say anything; divinity offers us such experiences; we can all experience a stillness in our hears and surrender to that divinity; this afternoon we realize that God or Saraswati manifests herself in so many ways; evey little leaf stopped, listening to the music that’s flowing through him.
Bombay Jayashree - Padma Shri
“The way he plays the veena is Godly”
“Ramana’s courageous choices showed he belonged to a different breed”
“Ramana is innovative in the true sense of the word – he pushes the creative boundaries, while staying true to the idioms of the music; his alapanas are refreshingly free flowing; he is clearly charting new waters with his swara prastharas, trying out new patterns and poruttams (fitted patterns); his choices of krithis show his keen aesthetics.”
“Though we have many child prodigies in the field of music like U. Srinivas & Mysore Manjunath, this lad awed the audience with his talent. The audience were spellbound to see him develop the raga Todi with such wonderful imagination and spontaneity, without compromising on classicism.”
Star of Mysore
“Such is his touch that even his scale-based phrases sound melodious [….] He played Tsallare (Ahiri, Tyagaraja); daring, indeed for his age but bhava seems to be ingrained in him.”
“Ramana’s meek figure was hardly noticeable as one looked at the stage, especially when giant portraits of Rama loomed in the background. However, as he struck the first note of ‘Sri Ganapatini Sevimparare,’ one realised that the unassuming, shy persona nurtured a humble artist of extraordinary caliber inside”
And now we have Ramana who is all of 18 years old today and plays the traditional Veena, leaving the audience in complete awe and in trance because of the rich tones and pure raagas he produces on the Veena… It makes you wonder is he Ma Saraswati’s own creation?
Ramana started performing Veena at the age of 12 years and now he is just 18 years old. In these six years he has achieved a lot but what is important is when the fabulous Maestro Shashank Subramaniam called to tell me and said “Durga this 18 years old Veena Player is a wonder. You will love him” Shashank’s honesty in his tone touched my heart…that I consider as a blessing to young Ramana…
“When he plays the veena, he doesn’t even realize he’s playing it; he enters a different world, very mature, one a million, I’d say. He plays like he has performed a crore concerts.”
T V Gopalakrishnan - Padma Bhushan, Sangeetha Kalanidhi
“In my sixty years of listening experience, rarely have I come across a vainika with this sort of felicity, virtuosity, speed and control over the instrument, combined with prowess in laya.”
“Ramana you light up Nattakurinji. Unexpected twists and turns, in a cascading flow of rakti. God bless..”
“Playing the veena, a type of South Indian lute that to my untrained senses looks and sounds like a slightly smaller version of a sitar, he displays a phenomenal virtuosity far beyond his tender years, and the creativity is breathtaking.”
Morning Star, London
“The conventional opening strains of Ranjani gave little inkling of the rain of creative expression that was to follow. This was not the standard essay built brick by brick in phased blocks. Rather, instinct led the way as the artiste surrendered to the moment. Vibrant sancharas looped across a 2-octave gamut, illuminated by flashes of insight and finessed by kuzhaivus from and to the madhya sthayi dhaivatam. Cached around almost every bend were surprises — welcome ones. Rooted in substance, the gravitas and bhava in Ramana’s playing was expressive to the point of being vocal with an emotive intensity that captivated cognoscenti and lay listeners alike.”
“..quite instantly, the melody he created started captivating the audience; here was a Veena performance of the highest order and hence this rare RTP was more than welcome. Minutes of divine magic unfolded. The audience was taken into a different world, as everyone was literally glued to their seat.”