Akkarai Sisters (Carnatic Violin Duet)  with
Sherthalai Ananthakrishnan (Mridangam)
Dr. 'Ghatam' Karthick (Ghatam)

September 29 2013, 5:00 PM

Dr V Premanand Theater and Concert Hall
Normandale Community College, Bloomington, MN

Sherthalai AnanthakrishnanAkkarai SistersDr. Ghatam Karthick

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About the Artists

Akkarai Sisters

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 farewell concert for Zubin Mehta (Munich), the Mahatma Gandhi Institute Sangeet Utsav (Mauritius), and the Cleveland Tyagaraja Aradhana (U.S.A.).  

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 50th anniversary.   Sornalatha has also earned many awards and 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.

Sherthalai Ananthakrishnan

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 musicians.

 Dr. 'Ghatam' Karthick

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.

About the Venue:
Normandale Community College is located at : 9700 France Avenue South, Bloomington, MN 55431

To get to Normandale Community College, follow the directions provided here


IMSOM’s Fall 2013 Concert Series has been made possible, 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. This activity is funded, in part, by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund. All concerts are co-sponsored by KFAI “Fresh Air” Radio (90.3 in Minneapolis/106.7 FM in St. Paul).

For further information contact:
Durgesh Manjure
Ameeta Kelekar



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