Born in Mumbai, India, Aruna Narayan Kalle plays the Sarangi, an ancient North Indian bowed instrument is considered one of the most difficult to master, and one of the more undeveloped instruments in both its physical and musical aspects. Its traditional role as an accompaniment instrument for vocal music kept it further in the background. Narayan’s father, renowned Sarangi maestro Pandit Ram Narayan, emerged as its messiah, and due to his efforts, the Sarangi is now well ensconced in the mainstream of the Indian performing arts.
Although Narayan began her music training at the rather late age of eighteen, she made fast progress studying intensively with her father for several years. She has fully captured her father’s disciplined, serious style, yet has also developed a unique voice for her instrument with a warm and generous musical temperament. Her playing is impressive in its subtlety, precision and grace as well as in its powerful and weighty bowing. As a recipient of Pandit Ram Narayan’s musical legacy, she has consistently worked towards maintaining a highly respectable profile for her instrument.
Narayan was recently a featured soloist in a unique presentation of the music of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, performed by Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra. An hourlong documentary film about this project with an exclusive profile of her has been aired by the CBC and the Bravo channels on several occasions. Her music has been featured in several international and Hollywood films and she regularly teaches in the school system introducing young people to Indian music and the Sarangi. Her recordings are available on the Nimbus (UK) and Zig-Zag (France) labels. In addition to her international performances, she frequently appears in the National Programme of Music on Doordarshan (TV) and other networks in India. Presently she resides in Toronto, Canada where she teaches and performs.