Nirmala Rajasekar (Veena)
Sriram Iyer (Mirdangam)

Sunday June 14 2020,
11:00AM CDT / 12:00PM EDT / 9:00AM PDT / 9:30PM IST (June 14 2020)

Direct (YouTube):

The concerts in this series will be FREE. However, we strongly urge you to donate generously to the COVID-19 relief effort organized by IAM. A donation of $25 or higher (as you can afford) is recommended. All proceeds (100%) from this virtual concert series will go to IAM’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund to help Minnesotans in need.

IMSOM Membership Form. 
About the Artists

Nirmala Rajasekar

Nirmala Rajasekar is one of the most well known Saraswathi veena players in the world today. She has been known as a ‘Carnatic ambassador’ for her role in propagating the South Indian Classical art form Carnatic music and the music of the Saraswathi veena all over the world. Nirmala is a dynamic and vibrant artist, vocalist and composer who has been performing for nearly four decades at well known venues around the world including the Carnegie Hall and United Nations in New York USA; Madras Music Academy, Narada Gana Sabha, Kalakshetra Chennai, Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Mahotsava Pune, Kolkata Performing Arts Festival Kolkatta, Chembur Fine Arts Bombay, Bangalore Gayana Samaj, Bangalore India; the Rumi International Festival in Konya, Turkey; Musee Rietburg Switzerland; BBC London UK; ABC Sydney Brisbane, Australia; Nirmlaa has been featured in several other concert centers in India, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Dubai, Bahrain , Indonesia, and Singapore. 

Her performances have been featured at special events --including playing for The President of India  Dr.Abdul Kalam and Jazz great Ornette Coleman. Nirmala has been an empanelled artiste of the Indian Council of Cultural Relations since 1987. She has also performed for the Sangeet Natak Akademy sponsored events such as the Maharana Kumbh Festival in Udaipur. 

An “A grade artiste” of Indian Radio and Television, she has been seen and heard in several concerts since she was for All India Radio/ Doordarshan National, South Zone Hook up and regional program concerts in Chennai Bombay Bangalore and New Delhi. 

Nirmala is a disciple of veteran Gurus late Prof. KalpakamSwaminathan, Bhagavatula Shri Sitarama Sarma, and Prof. T.R. Subramanyam. Nirmala’s music highlights her rich patanthara (tradition and lineage). Her unique and creative presentation style has won her
many followers globally.

Several honors have been conferred on Nirmala for her many contributions to music –She has received Best artiste awards from well known music organizations including The Madras Music Academy, Narada Gana Sabha, Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Madras the Bangalore Gayana Samaja among other awards; Vocational Excellence Award from the Rotary Club International, Veena SudarOli, Naadha Kala Vipanchi from Dr. Balamuralikrishna, Swararaga Saargyar from Panchamukha Anjaneya Festival Committee, Veena Kala Vithakar from Veenalayam Toronto, Canada, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the India Association of Minnesota. The Delhi Telugu Academy, India and Dr.Dash Foundation awarded Nirmala the Prathibha Puraskar. She is the first Indian-born musician to receive the Bush and McKnight
Fellowships USA. In Aug 2019 Nirmala has been conferred the "Gandharva Vidhyadara" award from Irai Pani Manram Chennai for her many contributions to music over the years to the cause of music.

Nirmala serves as a Director on the Board of the 45 year old American Composer’s Forum, the primary organization in the USA that supports composers in the USA. She is a co-chair of the Strategy Planning Committee of the Forum. In September 2019 Nirmala founded "Naadharasa"  a non profit organization for the propagation of Carnatic music and the music of the Saraswathi veena. Since its inception Naadharasa has already supported two events -one focused on rhythm in Carnatic music and the other being a Youth festival featuring young performers from several disciplines. Nirmala also serves as an office bearer (vice president) of the Global Carnatic Musicians.  Association an organization created to be a unified voice for Carnatic musicians and serve the music fraternity.

Nirmala has performed for many record labels since 1986. She has performed for Sangeetha and Charsur Digital Works Station among labels in India. Her music is available on the innova recordings label since 2007 when she released haer first full recording with them. Since then she has recorded two more times with innova. In Oct 2018, Nirmala released her latest collaborative album “Maithree: the Music of Friendship”, produced by innova recordings USA, featuring many musical instruments and genres. This album is available worldwide on all digital streaming services and has received national and international attention including a stellar review from the premier world music magazine ‘Songlines’, UK.  Nirmala is a passionate educator who believes in passing on the art to the next generation with sincerity and dedication. She founded ‘Naadha Rasa Center for Music’ and is its artistic director. Her students are accomplished veena players and vocalists who perform at music festivals, residencies and other events year around.

Sriram Iyer (Mridangam)

Sriram is a versatile artiste and collaborative world musician specializing in the classical South Indian instruments Mridangam (barrel drum) and Kanjira (Frame Drum).

Sriram is a student of vidwan Tanjavur Sri Murugaboopathi. He started training on the Mridangam at the age of 9, under the veteran Guru Sri K V Maniappan in Mumbai, India.  Sriram has had advanced training from the Late maestro Sangeetha Kalanidhi Padma Sri Palghat Raghu.

Sriram regularly accompanies renowned and upcoming artistes in India during the December music season in Chennai, India. In the US and has performed at several prestigious venues in Boston, California, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Connecticut, Madison, Milwaukee, Ohio, Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey and across the state of Minnesota.

Some of the renowned vocalists he has been fortunate to accompany include Shri M Balamuralikrishna, Shri T V Sankaranarayan, Shri N Ravikiran, Shri Neyveli Santhanagopalan, The Carnatica Brothers, Smt Gayathri Venkataraghavan, Smt Pantula Rama, Shri Kunnakkudi Balamuralikrishna, Shri R Suryaprakash, Shri V K Manimaran, Smt Alamelu Mani.

Some of the renowned instrumental artistes he has had an opportunity to accompany include Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, the Mysore Brothers, Smt Mala Chandrashekar, Smt Nirmala Rajasekar, Smt Geetha Bennett, Smt Rajeswari Pariti, Smt Suma Sudhindra, Shri V K Raman and Shri Chandan Kumar.

Sriram has been featured on PBS (MN Original), Twin Cities Public Television (Geetmala), Wisconsin Public Radio, KFAI FM Radio, Festival of Nations and the State Fair in St Paul MN.  His noteworthy collaborations have included - The St Olaf Jazz Band - Northfield, The Brass Kings - Minneapolis, A Jugalbandi concert rendition with
Grammy Award winner - Pandit Vishwamohan Bhatt and rising star Keyboard artist - Sathya, Gayaki Mandolin - a carnatic music album with Mandolin Prakash.

Sriram is a resident of Excelsior MN and teaches students across the midwest. He is the secretary of the Indian Music Society of Minnesota, the twin cities most respected and recognized organization promoting Indian Classical Arts and Culture. He is the founder of the Layyasaaram Institute of Indian Arts, a Twin Cities based non-profit organization.


IMSOM's Spring 2020 Concert Series has been is made possible in part, by the UHG “Dollars for Doers” Grant, matching grants from Honeywell & US Bank, a generous donation from the Dr. Dash Foundation, late Dr V Premanand & family, and the generosity of IMSOM’s members and donors. All concerts are co-sponsored by KFAI Radio (90.3 FM Mpls/106.7 FM St. Paul).

For further information contact:

Ameeta Kelekar
Abhinav Sharma


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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