N. Shashidhar began his music studies with Padmashri Lalgudi Jayaraman at the age of ten and received twelve years of intensive training. Under the Gurukula-like (traditional Indian school where the pupil lives with the teacher during his training) system of training, he absorbed the style of the "Lalgudi School," of which he proves to be a worthy pupil. His concert debut was made in Shri Krishna Gana Sabha in Madras, India, in 1981, as a duet with the Late K. K. Ravi. From then on, he has played many solo concerts in India, USA and Canada, accompanied leading vocalists. As an artist of All India Radio, he has played many recitals on the radio. He has performed at the Smithsonian Institution, National Folk festival and Lowell Folk festivals. He has released a CD album "Indian Classical Music- The Other Facet" (released by Kaveri Records).
After coming to the USA to study ceramic engineering (AU Master's in 1987 and Ph.D in 1991), Shashi eagerly absorbed the musical theory of Western classical music. He soon joined the university chorus, chamber orchestra and played in chamber ensembles. He also was a member of the McLean Orchestra in Virginia.
What did the influence of other cultures have on his music? Shashi says that it has broadened his perspective on music, but what is evident is that he has gained admirers among people from various ethnic backgrounds. About violin he says, "The chief characteristic of Indian Classical music is the Gamakas and the flow and continuity of music from one note to another. No musical instrument is better suited to portray these characteristics than the violin. The Indian technique of playing the violin has been developed to highlight these characteristics."