|This biographical article relies on references to primary sources. (May 2007)|
Kartik Seshadri (born 1957) is a leading sitarist, composer and teacher. He was noted as a child prodigy in India. He began studying under Ravi Shankar in 1974. He is currently a professor at the University of California, San Diego where he heads the Indian Music Department by leading sitar classes.
Early life and background
As a sitarist, Kartik Seshadri attracted widespread attention when he began performing full-length solos at the age of 6 in India. The sitar prodigy has blossomed into an “amazingly accomplished” musical powerhouse noted for his music’s expressive beauty, rich tonal sensibility, and rhythmic intricacy, praised the Washington Post. The prestigious British magazine Songlines declared Seshadri “stands out amongst sitarists for his clarity and intricate rhythmic sensibility.” The publication selected the sitar guru’s 2004 Raga: Rasa – That Which Colors the Mind album for its World Music Top 10 list and cited his 2006 Illuminations record as “sitar at its lyrical best.”
Seshadri performs extensively as a soloist in major venues throughout India and abroad. His concerts in India frequently include prestigious festivals such as the Sangeeth Nataka Academy, Dover Lane Music Conference, Sangeeth Research Academy (ITC Music Festival), Gunidas Sangeeth Sammelan, Madras Music Academy, Indian Fine Arts Society, and Saptak, establishing him as a musician of national importance. In the United States and Canada, his recent solo engagements have included Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, World Music Institute, Asia Society, Vancouver Jazz Festival and Ravi Shankar’s 75th Birthday Celebration. He has accompanied Ravi Shankar in major concert halls throughout the world, from India, Europe and the Middle East, to Japan, Mexico and the United States, including New York’s Carnegie Hall. Seshadri’s performances are noted for their expressive beauty, rich tonal sensibility and extraordinary rhythmic intricacy.
Most recently, Seshadri recorded a composition by Maestro Ravi Shankar on the Orion project with the noted composer Philip Glass  and the Brazilian group UAKTI with worldwide performances ranging from the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park and Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York to the Cervantino Festival in Mexico and Australia’s Melbourne International Arts Festival.
Seshadri is also a distinguished composer and educator of Indian music. His composition Quartet for a Raga received its world premiere in Washington, DC under the auspices of the Contemporary Music Forum. He also teaches at the University of California, San Diego, where he heads one of the largest programs of Indian Classical music in the country. Seshadri’s latest recording Raga: Rasa- That which Colors the Mind recently earned the worldmusic’s top ten list from the prestigious Songlines Magazine in London.