San Francisco's Home for Great Concerts since 1970

Unfretted – Indian Strings in Conversation – Sunday, August 13 at 4 pm


Indian Strings in Conversation

Sruti Sarathy, Carnatic violin
Vishaal Sapruram, chitravina
Akshay Anantapadmanabhan, mrdangam

Unfretted is a colorful story of South Indian strings, featuring two fretless string instruments of the Carnatic tradition: the chitravina (rare Indian fretless lute) and the violin. The three award-winning artists, Sruti Sarathy (violin), Vishaal Sapuram (chitravina), and Akshay Anantapadmanabhan (mrdangam), offer a fresh perspective on the traditional Carnatic concert with new approaches to improvisation, a unique blend of Carnatic, Hindustani, and original compositions, and exuberant exchanges between the musicians. For more information about the ensemble visit their website at

Sruti Sarathy is a leading Carnatic musician in the diaspora. She is a versatile violinist, singer, and composer with roots in the South Indian classical tradition. Her original music is a meeting place for Carnatic and Hindustani forms, spoken word, South Asian diasporic experience, literature in many Indian and Western languages, and theater. Her style and sound bring out the voice of the Indian violin in a contemporary and imaginative way.

Her groundbreaking experiments with the Carnatic form and the role of the violin in Carnatic music have been supported by several institutions. She received a Fulbright Scholarship in 2016 from the US Department of State to study cross-genre approaches in Carnatic violin. She is also the recipient of grants from the Alliance for California Traditional Arts (2007) and the Creative Work Fund (2021). In Songs for Many Lives, supported by CWF, Sruti partners with the Alliance of South Asians Taking Action to create new Carnatic music about South Asian diasporic life. For more information visit her website at

Vishaal Sapuram is a Carnatic (Indian) classical musician, and an exponent of the rare Indian slide lute known as the chitravina. He is a disciple of the chitravina legend Shri. N Ravikiran.

Vishaal began his musical journey at the age of three, learning vocal music under respected gurus in the USA and India. Later, he came under the tutelage of Shri. Ravikiran, and under his guidance, gave his first full vocal concert at the Music Academy Madras at the age of nine. At age thirteen, he began to perform on the chitravina, joining the ranks of the rare few performers of the instrument.

His music has been featured at prestigious venues in India, USA, Europe, Singapore, Malaysia, and so on. Apart from his solo concerts, he has accompanied stalwarts like percussion wizard T H Subash Chandran, his own guru Ravikiran, and Abhishek Raghuram, and he has also collaborated with many respected artistes from both within and beyond the Carnatic tradition. For more information visit his website at

Akshay Anantapadmanabhan is an internationally acclaimed Carnatic percussionist with over 20 years of experience playing the mridangam, South Indian hand drum. He has studied under some of the greatest legends of the Carnatic music world. He is known for his versatile approach to music and has become one of the most sought after mridangam artistes today. Akshay has accompanied and toured with the top artistes in the Carnatic field across the globe, engaged with thousands of individuals in rhythm workshops, and has straddled Carnatic instruments into notable cross-genre collaborations. For more information visit his website at

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