Veene Sheshanna (Kannada: ವೀಣೆ ಶೇಷಣ್ಣ) (1852-1926) was a famous exponent of the Veena, an Indian string instrument, which he played in the classical Carnatic music style. He was a concert musician at the court of the princely state of Mysore in south India.
He toured South India and gave performances at various places. These performances were at the homes of rich patrons of the arts and in the courts of the Rajas as public performances as we know today were practically non-existent in those days. On his return from his tour, he was appointed as the court musician in the court of the Maharaja of Mysore.
His musical talent was prodigious and is reputed to have a mastered many instruments other than the Veene, like the Violin, Piano and Swarabat (a lute like instrument also known as Swaragat). Once, a musician from North India played the jal tarang (a tuned percussion instrument made of porcelain cups tuned with varying amounts of water) in the court and the Maharaja was very much impressed by it. Sheshanna requested the artist to leave the instrument with him overnight and the next evening gave a concert of Carnatic music on that instrument in the Maharaja’s presence.
The composers Mysore Vasudevacharya and Rallapalli Ananthakrishna Sarma, among others, have showered liberal praise on Sheshanna's technical virtuosity. His fame spread far and wide, yet he always retained his humility. He is reputed to have often exclaimed, "One can play the Veene according to his own abilities. Where can you find the musician who can play it to its full potential?"
Sheshanna used to give public music concerts during the annual Ramanavami and Krishnashthami festivals. These concerts were organised on the roof of his own house and all were welcome to attend them. They were held for ten days each at the time of these two festivals. This brought music from the king’s court and the rich man’s mansion to the doorstep of the common man.