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The Akkarai Sisters are among India’s most celebrated young
musicians today, known for their lively and soulful music steeped in
tradition. The sisters, Subhalakshmi and Sornalatha, hail from a family
with a rich background in South Indian classical (Carnatic) music.
Their grandfather Suchindram Shri S P Sivasubramanian was a prolific
musician and composer, and their grandmother Smt R Sornambal, a
Harikatha exponent and music teacher. The sisters were trained
intensively from a young age by their father, Akkarai Shri S
Swamynathan, a veteran violinist and founder of the Swara Raga Sudha
School of Music. They have also learnt under revered gurus, Shri V
Janakiraman, Shri O V Subramanian and his daughter Smt Padma Natesan
while in New Delhi and later on, the renowned Padmabhushan Shri P S
Narayanaswamy and Chitravina Shri N Ravikiran.
Their style is
characterized by a rich tone and artful bowing, as well as sensitive
and precise fingering, capable of reproducing the finest nuances of
Indian classical music. They have thus created a style of their own,
bringing together the depth of Indian classical music and the
versatility of the violin. As accompanists, they are known for their
ability to blend seamlessly with the music, while also enlivening and
enhancing it skillfully. They have thus become highly sought-after
accompanists for many an eminent artiste.
Both sisters have
performed around the world, including Europe, U.S.A., Sri Lanka,
Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, and many more. Subhalakshmi has played
in prestigious events like the IndoRussian cultural exchange programme,
the Théâtre de la Ville Festival (Paris), the
concert for Zubin Mehta (Munich), the Mahatma Gandhi Institute Sangeet
Utsav (Mauritius), and the Cleveland Tyagaraja Aradhana
Subhalakshmi and Sornalatha have received
numerous accolades; Subhalakshmi received the Rajiv Gandhi Yuva
Puraskar award from the President of India at age thirteen, and has
since earned the Music Academy Outstanding Young Violinist Award for
four years, Yuva Kala Bharathi (2002), the Kalki Krishnamurthy Memorial
Award (2007), the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar award from the
Sangeet Natak Akademy (2007) and Vani Kala Nipuna (2012). She was
identified as one of India’s 50 emerging stars by The Week
magazine’s issue commemorating the Indian nation’s
anniversary. Sornalatha has also earned many awards
titles, including Kalashree, Sangeetha Bhaskara, Yuva Kala Bharathi,
Isai Chemmal, the Vipanchee Award, the Best Violinist Award from the
Indian Fine Arts Society, and the Best Violinist Award from the Music
Academy (2013). The sisters together received the prestigious Shanmukha
Shiromani from the Shanmukhananda Sabha in Mumbai in 2009.
Subhalakshmi and Sornalatha have released many albums, both violin and
vocal, solo and duet, such as ‘Inta Saukhyam’,
‘Keeravani’, and ‘Varali’. The
sisters are also
much sought-after teachers. They attribute their success to all their
gurus, especially their father Akkarai Shri S Swamynathan, who
established them as musicians and continues to guide them.
Born in a family having Music background, Shertalai Ananthakrishnan had
initial training in Mridangam from Vidwan Late K.R. Bhaskara Kurup at
the age of eight. Later on received advanced studies from Guru
Karaikudi R Mani under the cultural scholarship of Govt.of India; also
studied carnatic vocal music from his mother Smt Lalitha Ramachandran.
Shertalai Ananthakrishnan is a Grade A artist at AIR and has received
numerous awards and felicitations including:
- "BEST MRIDANGIST” Award from MUSIC
ACADEMY, MADRAS in the year 2005 December
- Honoured by the CHEMBAI TRUST, Trivandrum in
the year 2000 for his OUTSTANDING SKILLS
- Best Young Talent Certificate Awarded by Sri
Swathi Tirunal Sangeetha Sabha, Trivandrum in 1986
- First Prize Award and Scholarship in the
Sangeetha Nataka Academy State Music Competition in 1988
He has accompanied several top artists ably, including Dr.Semmangudi R.
Srinivasa Iyer,Dr M Balamuralikrishna, Madurai T. N. Seshagopalan, T.V.
Sankaranarayanan, O.S. Thyagarajan, U Srinivas, S Shashank, E Gayatri,
Vijayalakshmy Subramaniam, P.Unnikrishnan, Sudha Ragunathan,
K.J.Yesudas, Neyveli Santhanagopalan, Sanjay Subramaniam,T.M.Krishna,
Prince Aswathi Tirunal Rama Varma and many others.
Shertalai has also participated in a few Jugalbandis with Hindustani
Today, as one of the most preferred, admired and loved artiste, Dr.
'Ghatam' Karthick has shared the stage with almost all top-ranking
artistes in the Carnatic music front. Karthick has travelled all over
the world with his wonder magic pot performing in various prestigious
venues including the 'United Nations'.
Graded 'A' in All India Radio, Chennai, Karthick has also been part of
numerous National Sangeeth Sammelans, National Programs of Music, South
Zone Hook-ups, Invited audience concerts both in All India Radio &
Doordarshan. Karthick has also performed with varied artistes in
numerous Cassette and CD recordings and Private Channels. He has
performed all over the world including countries like South
Africa, Japan, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Denmark,
France, Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Norway, Bahrain, Dubai,
Qatar, Muscat, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, UK, Singapore, Sri
Lanka and Malaysia. He has has been a recipient
of many Scholarships, Fellowships and
Awards. Dr. Karthick is only Ghatam artiste to receive the prestigious
Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar (2006) from Sangeet Natak Academy
(Indian cultural Institution), Government of India.
Dr. Karthick also leads and orchestrates the 'Heartbeat Ensemble', a
rhythmic – melodic extravaganza, highlighting the fine art of
improvisation, which has earned exceptional acclaim all over the world.
He has given articulate lecture-demonstrations and conducted many
outreach events and interactive workshops at various universities and
institutions all over India & abroad. He has
been a part of many fusion ensembles
collaborating with international artistes and features frequently as
one of the most in-demand percussionists in the Indian film industry
for top film composers like Ilayaraja, A.R.Rahman, Harris Jayaraj,
Bharadwaj, Vidhyasagar and also for Tele-Serials. He regularly performs
with the 2009 Oscar winning Film Composer Musician A.R.Rahman and
collaborates in most of his innovative ventures. Performed with 5-time
Grammy award winner Victor Wooten in on-stage concerts and workshops
all over India, in April 2010.
Dr. Karthick also specializes in Verbal Percussion (Konnakol) and plays
the Morsing. Dr. Karthick has trained many Indian and Foreign students
in Percussion, which includes personal classes and online sessions.
Also given technical guidance to other performing musicians in
fingering patterns, concepts and conceive new progressions.
As a Creative Composer, he has composed in various
genres consisting of many Tillanas, Kritis (both in Sanskrit and Tamil
in rare ragas), a Pada Varnam, a Daru Varnam, Swarakshara Kriti,
Ragamalika, Instrumental Orchestrations, Devotional songs, Hymns,
Romantic songs, Folk songs etc.
College is located at : 9700
France Avenue South, Bloomington, MN 55431
To get to Normandale
Community College, follow the directions provided here
Fall 2013 Concert Series has been made possible,
in part, by funds provided by the Honeywell “Dollars for
a matching grant from US Bank, and the generosity of its members and
donors. This activity is funded, in part, by an appropriation from the
Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general
All concerts are co-sponsored by KFAI “Fresh Air” Radio
Minneapolis/106.7 FM in St. Paul).
For further information