Unnikrishnan (Carnatic Vocal) with
Embar Kannan (Violin) and
Anantha R Krishnan (Mridangam)

Sunday, April 29, 5:00 PM


St. Paul Student Center
2017 Buford Avenue St. Paul, MN 55108

Anantha R KrishnanUnnnikrishnanEmbar Kannan

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One of the most sought after Carnatic classical vocalists of today,P Unnikrishnan was born on 9 th July 1966 to K Radhakrishnan and Dr Harini Radhakrishnan. The family home, Kesari Kuteeram, was a well known landmark of Madras city, with great grandfather Dr KN Kesari being an eminent Ayurvedic physician and the promoter of the popular Telugu women's magazine Gruhalakshmi . The home was known to be a beehive of artistes and singers with eminent personalities in the field often coming home to perform and also be rewarded by Dr Kesari. It is no surprise therefore that Unni should have taken to the arts at an early age. Cricket was however his first passion and it was his ambition to make it to the national level. But his mother had noticed his talents in music and enrolled him for classical music lessons under Sri VL Seshadri. Studying at the Asan Memorial School, 

Unni balanced his interests in music and cricket and progressed on both fronts. He graduated from the Vivekananda College, Madras University in 1987 with a B Com degree. Music tutelage was now under Dr S Ramanathan, the well known musician's musician. Unni also graduated in cricket to become a part of the Tamil Nadu Senior Division League as a top order batsman and wicket keeper. 

Concert opportunities began coming in from 1990 onwards with the first concert happening at Palghat. His facile voice and musical talents were noted and with that he joined the league of young Turks such as Vijay Siva and Sanjay Subrahmanyan to bring back the fans to Carnatic Music. Cricket had to sadly be left behind though he continues to be a life member of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association. Tutelage in music continued after Sangita Kalanidhi Dr Ramanathan's time with Calcutta Sri KS Krishnamurthy and later Smt Savitri Sathyamurthy as Gurus. He also attended a six month training programme on the Veena Dhanammal bani conducted by Sangita Kalanidhi T Brinda and Sangita Kalanidhi T Viswanathan. Unni did his General Law and Post Graduate Diploma in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations and joined Parrys Confectionery Limited where he worked from 1991 to 94. By then he had become a very busy concert artiste. It was in 1994 that he received his first film offer and the very first songs, ‘Ennavalae' (Kaadalan) and ‘Uyirum Neeye' (Pavitra) bagged him the National Award for Best Male Playback Singer. He can be credited with the bridging of the classical music – film music divide which had been last achieved with great success by KJ Yesudass.

Unni then bade goodbye to a corporate career and became a full time musician. He married Priya, who is trained in Bharatanatyam and Mohiniattam, in November 1994 and the couple is blessed with two children, Vasudev Krishna, born on 27 th May 1997 and Uttara, born on 11 th June 2004. Unni remains a top ranking musician and still finds time to train under Sri PS Narayanaswami and Prof. SR Janakiraman. He is an A grade artiste with the All India Radio. Interest in sports continues with his finding time to play tennis and swim and as often as possible at the Madras Cricket Club where he is a member.

For more information and sample music clips of the artist please visit

Embar Kannan 

Born on 19th Feb 1975, Kannan hails from a family of musicians. Although he holds a post graduate degree in commerce, from the Madras University, music has been his raison’d’etre. Living up to his father, Sangeetha Bhooshanam, Sri Embar Sadagopan’s dream to see his son as a concert artist, Kannan took to the violin at the tender age of 6. He had his initial training in Carnatic music under Sri Subbanna Bhagavatar and Vittal Ramamurthy and in western classical music under music director, Diwakar master. He then continued his formal training in the violin under
Kum. Kanyakumari.

Acknowledged as a violinist par excellence, Kannan is an A- Grade with the All India Radio, a recognition given only to top ranking artists. Universally acclaimed as a violinist with extraordinary bowing quality and remarkably sweet playing, his style is marked by clarity, soulfulness and energy. Subbudu, the doyen among critics recognized Kannan as a prized jewel of Carnatic music as early as 1991. He remarked that Kannan’s music had the grace and ease of a Russian Ballerina.

Violinists hold a unique pride of place in carnatic music. As concert accompanists, they shoulder the twin responsibilities of perceiving the mindsets of vocalists, anticipating, reproducing and blending in with their music, even as they retain their individual identities. Kannan’s uncanny flair in this aspect has made him one of the most sought after accompanists in his time and he enthralls audiences, the world over with his music.

For more information and sample music clips of the artist please visit


Anantha R Krishnan 

Anantha R. Krishnan (Anand) A rare phenomenon in the world of music, Anand started his musical journey on the mridangam, the principle drum of South Indian music, the Carnatic tradition. As a child prodigy, Anand astounded the Indian classical community with his performances. Since then, he has cemented his position as a premier mridangam-ist of his generation, carrying forth one of the greatest drumming traditions. 

The grandson and disciple of arguably the greatest mridangam maestro, Shri. Palghat R. Raghu, Anand started learning the fundamentals of the mridangam under his uncle, Shri. R. Ramkumar and then began an official tutelage under his grandfather at the age of five. He performed his first concert for Prof. T. N. Krishnan, a Padma Bhushan, one of India's greatest civilian qualifications, and, a few years later before reaching the age of fifteen, he had the distinction of performing with a rare generation of Carnatic stalwarts like: Shri. K.V. Narayanaswamy, Shri. M.S. Gopalakrishnan, Dr. K.J. Yesudas, Shri. Nedunuri Krishnamurthy, Dr. N. Ramani Shri. Mandolin Shrinivas among many others. During this period, he received many awards from traditional organizations of Carnatic Music in India. Most notably, he has won the categorical Best Mridangist Prize from the Music Academy, Madras five times in six years. Also, he was awarded the State of the Arts Award from the New Jersey government twice in 1997-1998 as part of the National Endowment of the Arts' effort to promote cultural awareness in the U.S.A. 

A mridangist of international repute, in 1999, he was invited to perform for the millenium celebrations in Berlin, Germany at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and at the EXPO 2000 in Hanover. A year later, he performed at the historic Sadler's Wells Indian Music Festival in London with legendary vocalist, Padma Vibhushan Shri. M. Balamuralikrishna. Recently, he went back to Germany at the invitation of Fred Frith, the British experimental guitarist to perform for the seminal New Jazz Meeting for SWR 2, a national radio station in Baden Baden. This record, called "Clearing Customs" is now available on Intakt Records. In May of 2008, he was a featured soloist in the Grammy nominated, Miles from India tour, which premiered in Town Hall, NYC presenting Miles Davis's music with Indian instrumentation featuring jazz legends: Ron Carter, Dave Liebman Lenny White, Ndugu Chancler, and Pete Cosey. 

Anantha is one of the few Indian percussionists who has performed the music of American composers Steve Reich, John Cage, James Tenney and others. On November 15, 2010, he had the blessing for playing in Bhagavan Shri Satya Sai Baba's 85th Birthday celebration. Academically, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Philosphy from Dartmouth College and Master of Fine Arts in Electronic Music from Mills College in Oakland, California.

About the venue:

Map of St. Paul student Center
The St. Paul Student Center is located in the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota at the intersection of Cleveland and Buford Avenues. The nearest parking spaces are:

  • Buford Avenue Meters
  • Buford Circle Meters
  • Gortner Avenue Ramp

On weekends the parking meters are FREE. You can also try on-street parking in the streets closeby (Cleveland Ave and its intersecting streets).

Please visit the web site of the St. Paul Student Center for all other details


IMSOM’s Spring 2012 Concert Series has been supported in part by funds provided by the Honeywell “Dollars for Doers” Grant, a matching grant from US Bank, and the generosity of its members and donors.  These concerts are co-sponsored by KFAI Radio (90.3FM in Mpls/106.7FM in St. Paul).



For further information contact:
Durgesh Manjure
Ameeta Kelekar



IMSOM, established in 1980, is a registered non-profit (501(c)(3)) organization serving Minneapolis-St.Paul and the greater Twin Cities Metro Area.

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