Nirmala Rajasekar is one of the most recognized and respected
performers in the world of South Indian Classical (Carnatic) music. She
began her training in this art form at age 6 and debuted as a solo
performer at age 13 in Bangalore India. She is a disciple of veteran
veena Guru octogenarian Prof. Kalapakam Swaminathan and has had vocal
mentoring under Prof.Sitarama Sarma and Prof. T. R Subramaniam.
Since then for three decades now she has become one of its best
practitioners taking the music of her veena to many parts of the world
with utmost dedication, passion, and a deep love for the art.
Nirmala’s music is marked by a repertoire that reflects her adherence
to rich patanthra (lineage and heritage) of her Gurus. As a fine
vocalist Nirmala has performed concerts and has been featured as the
lead soloist in many musical productions. She has also showcased the
two thousand year old tradition of Carnatic music and performed in a
collaborative setting playing and singing alongside other forms of
music including western classical music and jazz. Nirmala teaches at
the ‘Naadha Rasa Center for Music’ and is its artistic director. She is
a wonderful teacher and has been recognized by several organizations
for her unbounded enthusiasm for music and unstinted service to the
cause of building bridges through music. She serves as an educator and
advisor on many National and State teaching rosters in the country and
Awards and recognitions
- In 1989 Nirmala was chosen by the Indian
Council for Cultural relations to represent India and perform in
International Festivals. Berne, Switzerland was the first venue where
she performed in 1991.
- In 1990 Nirmala was given the topnotch ranking
of ‘A grade Artist’ by All India Radio, India’s premier gradations
- Since 1995, she has received grants such as
Artists Initiative,Cultural Collaboration Grants from the Minnesota
State Arts Board; grants and commissions from the Jerome Foundation,
Playwrights Center, COMPAS Meet the Composer New York.
- Nirmala was selected as a BUSH Artistic fellow
in 2006 by the Bush Foundation.
- In 2008 she was given the 2008 Achievement
award by the India Association of MN, a unique honor given to one
individual in the State of Minnesota every year.
- Rotary Club International presented her with a
Vocational Excellence award in 2009.
- Nirmala won the Best concert award from the
Indian Fine Arts Society India (2009) Best Veena artist from the Narada
Gana Sabha 2009 and Best Veena concert of the Festival from the
Carnegie Hall of India –the Music Academy Madras, India in Jan 2010.
- In May 2010, Nirmala has received (from the
MacPhail Center for Music) the coveted McKnight Performing Artists
Fellowship for the year 2010-2011. She has become the first Indian
Musician to be chosen for this Fellowship.
Vinay hails from a
musical family. He is the grandson of Sangeetha Kalanidhi late Sri T.K.
Jayarama Iyer, eminent violinist and father of orchestration of Indian
Born and raised in Delhi,
his initial training from Mrs. Vanaja Aravamuthan and subsequently
trained under late Sri V. Janakiraman and his uncle Sri Kovai B.
performer for over 20 years,
Vinay has had the privilege of accompanying several leading musicians
performing as a successful solo artiste. He has featured on national
TV in India
and has won many awards including an Indian government scholarship for
in music. He is a B-high graded artiste
of the All India Radio.
Since moving to the
US, Vinay has had
the opportunity to perform with eminent India- and US-based artistes in
sabhas across the country. He has also had the opportunity to
Boston based World Jazz groups ‘Natraj’ and ‘Bangalore.’ Vinay has a
economics and lives and works in the Boston area.
Sri Tanjore Murugaboopathi belongs to a family of artists and
musicians. He had his initial training under Sri
T.R.Srinivasan, a Mridangam Vidwan and Lecturer in the
Tamilnadu Government Music College. After receiving the 'Vadhya
Visharada' with distinction from the Music College, he came under the
guidance of Late Sri Tanjore Upendran. He learnt from the late maestro
in the age old tradition of Gurukulavasam. He has won numerous
awards including the Vadya Kalaimani from the Music College, Chennai,
the Laya Kala Ratna from the Tiruppur Murugan Mandram, the Best Artiste
Award from the South Indian Music Club, Andhra Pradesh, the Music
Academy and the Sivan Mandram, Sydney, Australia. Murugaboopathi can
adopt his playing to any style of singing or instrumentals and has won
the appreciation of the artists as well as the rasikas. He regularly
accompanies leading artists such as Sangeetha Kalnidhi Madurai T.N.
Seshagopalan, Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr. N. Ramani, Mandolin Srinivas,
Sanjay Subramaniam, Sudha Ragunathan, and Aruna Sayeeram, to name a
few. He has performed with these artists in Singapore, Malaysia, South
Africa, Germany, Spain, USA, UK, Switzerland, Australia, Dubai, Muscat,
Doha, Belgium and Scotland.
Chandran started his
Carnatic percussion studies in Mridangam under Sri. Kovai Mani and Sri.
Kadayanallur Narayana Iyer. He learned the Ghatam from Sri. Ghatam
has been an accompanist to many artists in the US and India, including
Kalanidhi Sri. R.K Srikantan, Prof. Ramakanth, Sri. Neyveli
and current generation artists such as Smt. Nirmala Rajasekar, Smt.
Chandrashekar, Sri Suryaprakash, Sri. Kunnakudi Balamuralikrishna, Sri.
Mullaivasal Chandramauli, Sri. Mysore
Chandan Kumar, Sri A.S. Murali, and Sri Shankaran Mahadhevan. He has
in prestigious venues like the Chennai Music Academy, Naradha Ghana
Sri Ranjani Sabha.
He has been
part of the Aradhana
celebrations in Minnesota for the past 10 years and has performed in
venues across the US. He features in a Carnatic Audio album called
“Song of the
Veena.” He was part of an ensemble that
the top honors in the recently conducted Carnatic music competition
Chennai by International Society of Laya Awareness. He has collaborated
St. Olaf Collage Jazz band and Brass Kings, an American Blue Grass Jazz
band.He has lent Mridangam and Ghatam support for Bharathanatyam Arengetrams. He
is also adept at playing the Kanjira.