Guru – A. Kanyakumari

2014_08_18_news_conlfict_resolutions_interactive_gm_road_close_english_1Padmashri A. Kanyakumari is India’s leading violinist in the Carnatic style of music. She has been in the field for over four decades, successfully playing the various roles of soloist, accompanist, teacher, innovator and organizer, dedicating life to music alone. She considers herself fortunate to be a disciple of 3 great legendary gurus: Ivaturi Vijeswara Rao, M. Chandrasekaran and M. L. Vasanthakumari.


The Artist:

Kanyakumari’s extensive experience as an artist spans more than 4 decades. Combined with a sharp acumen and fine sense of creativity, she has earned herself a distinct place in the world of music. She has evolved her own style of melodious playing and silken bowing which closely resembles vocal music rhapsodising audiences all over. She has performed as a soloist all across the world,  regularly touring nations like USA, France, UK, Mexico, Switzerland, Canada, Dubai, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Sri Lanka. She has also accompanied many of the legendary carnatic musicians like M. L. Vasanthakumari, N. Ramani, S. Kalyanaraman, U. Srinivas, Dr. Kadri Gopalnath, etc.

She has released numerous albums, many of them which were produced by some of the top music labels in India.  Some of the releases include: Prashantam, Sataragamalika, Musical Melodies, 27 Violins, Strings of Harmony, Dancing Melodies, etc.

HYF30KANYAKUMARI_111558gThe Teacher:

Besides being a seasoned performing artist, Kanyakumari is well known for being a dedicated teacher. Over a period of 25 years, she has taught numerous students in India and abroad, many of whom are very popular artists. She teaches without a price tag and generously encourages students to participate in full measure. She was briefly a visiting professor at the University of Sanfransisco, USA.

She has released a VCD with Violin Lessons, which is the first of its kind to guide and help those people who are interested in learning the violin but do not have access to a Guru. This website contains the very same material in a more accessible form through the internet.

The Innovator:

The “Vadyalahari” is a unique instrumental ensemble of the violin, nadaswara, veena or flute and dual percussion instruments. This is a unique ensemble in that; it includes the Nadaswaram which was all along used only for solo performances on account of its tonal quality and volume. As a challenge it has been tried to blend the music from the Ndaswaram along with softer 31TVF_KANYAKUMARI_1194120einstruments like the violin & Venna.This attempt has been found to be very successful, as the vadyalahari concerts have received a great welcome not only in India but also aborad. Music of the world, a US based premier recording company, HMV and few other companies have released CDs of the Vadyalahari.

She has composed numerous thillanas, keerthanas and instrumental pieces. As an homage to Lord Venkateshwara, she has created 7 ragas bearing the names of the seven hills of thirumala.

Violin Ensembles: A. Kanykumari regularly leads large ensembles of fellow musicians and students, bringing a new sonic texture to carnatic music. She has assembled many large musical teams with between 25 and 100 artists in number. She played a leading role in Sri Sri Ravishankar’s 50th Birthday celebrations and sliver jubilee celebrations of his mission The Art of Living in Bangalore by leading an ensemble of 3800 instrumentalists.

The Thristhai Sangamam is an innovative concept. Playing in different octaves is a part of western music. Introducing similar ideas into carnatic music without compromising on traditional classicism is a great task. The Thristhai Sangamam (the triple octave confluence) was devised to include three violins playing at the same time in three different octaves. It is a new experience to listen to the krithis being played simultaneously in three different octaves.