Deepa Ganesh, Karl Lutchmayer, Ramjee Chandran with Prateeti Punja Ballal
Deepa Ganesh’s areas of interest are Literature, Languages, Music and Theatre. She served as Deputy Editor at The Hindu for two decades. Currently, she is Professor of Literature and Executive Director of the Centre for Visual and Performing Arts, RV University. She was the editor of the Sahitya Academy journal, Aniketana, for three years.
She has five published books: A Life in Three Octaves – The life and times of Gangubai Hangal, the doyen of Hindustani music; Hunt, Bangle, Chameleon, a collection of U R Ananthamurthy’s short stories which won the Sahitya Akademi award for translation; Just a Few Pages, a translation of the memoir of the early Kannada writer Saraswati Bai Rajwade by Vaidehi; a translation of Kaleye Kayaka as Art as Life, the autobiography of the harbinger of Kannada company theatre Gubbi Veeranna; and A Source Book of Kannada Theatre (1850-1950), co-authored with KV Akshara and Venkataramana Aithal. She has translated over 25 books for Tulika, a children’s publisher. Together with Vivek Shanbhag and KV Akshara, she has launched a publishing house, Bahuvachana, working on translations between Indian languages. She has written for several acclaimed journals, and has presented papers on all aspects of culture in various conferences.
Karl Lutchmayer is equally renowned as a concert pianist and a lecturer. The first Steinway Artist of Indian origin, Karl performs across the globe, and has worked with conductors including Lorin Maazel and Sir Andrew Davis, and performed at all the major London concert halls. He has broadcast on BBC Television and Radio, All India Radio and Classic FM, and is a regular chamber performer. A passionate advocate of contemporary music, Karl has also given over 90 world premieres and had many works written especially for him.
Karl’s London lecture-recital series, Conversational Concerts, has garnered critical and public acclaim, and following his landmark recitals celebrating the Liszt and Alkan Bicentenaries, he has received invitations from four continents to give concerts and lecture-recitals. In 2019 he was part of the team introducing the London Prom concerts for BBC television, and he curated and performed in a three-day festival of the music of Busoni in London, including a performance of the Piano Concerto for which he received extensive media attention. Karl held an academic lectureship for 15 years at Trinity Laban (formerly Trinity College of Music) in Greenwich, where he was responsible for mentoring numerous music projects in the community, and is a regular guest lecturer at conservatoires around the world, including the Juilliard and Manhattan Schools in New York.
For the last decade Karl has focussed much of his time and attention on nurturing the burgeoning Western classical music scene in India, his family home. Here, as well as developing audience creation projects in new spaces, he was the first educator to create long-term programmes to support young musicians and their music teachers to fulfill their potential. His success in that role has seen him work as a key consultant for international organisations wishing to support and further that work, and he now advises on education and outreach projects across the country, including as the Dean of Studies for the International Pre-College Music Programme, and the Director of Music for Musiquity. It was for this education work that he was awarded the Bharat Gaurav (Pride of India) Lifetime Achievement award in 2015 and the Indians of the World Medal in June 2022.
Karl studied at the Junior Department of Trinity College of Music, then at the Royal College of Music where he was awarded the Hopkinson Medal by Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. He then undertook further studies with Lev Naumov at the Moscow Conservatoire. His research interests include the music of Liszt, Alkan, Busoni and Enescu; The Creative Transcription Network; reception theory; the history of piano recital programming; gesture and performance; and the piano concert arrangement as a challenge to the work concept, which is the subject of his current PhD research at the University of Cambridge.
Between concerts, research and education, Karl has also been a member of the board of trustees for the Incorporated Society of Musicians, and is currently chairman of the board of the dance theatre company, Sweetshop Revolution, which focuses on working with isolated communities including hospices, hospitals and care homes. For the last few years he has lived in Oxford, however he is still sometimes spotted in London, in his alternative incarnation as keyboard, percussion and theremin player in the prog rock band The Connoisseur.
Ramjee Chandran is host of Explocity’s podcast, “The Literary City With Ramjee Chandran”. He has been a writer and magazine publisher for over three decades. He plays jazz guitar at the professional level and says that he plays chess with unusual mediocrity.
Prateeti Punja Ballal
Prateeti Punja Ballal grew up in Bangalore and did her postgraduate work in the US. She taught Literature at various universities there, most recently at Hunter College, City University of New York. She earlier worked in the software industry for fifteen years. She has been a recipient of a Mellon fellowship for her research and several regional and international awards for her technical publications. A musician and dancer, she has a sustaining interest in the arts.