We are proud to have had such distinguished judges for the competition. Vid. VK Arunkumar, Vid. Kiranavali Vidyashankar and Vid. Sankari Krishnan were the judges for this event. We thank them all for their interest and participation. Our thanks also to the OVK Research Center for being a co-sponsor with us to help promote awareness of the many varied compositions of this prolific composer.
V. K. Arun Kumar
V. K. Arun Kumar, a senior disciple of ‘Sangita Kala Acharya’ Smt. Seetha Rajan, is an A-Grade artiste of All India Radio, Chennai. He holds a Masters in Music from the University of Madras, and is a Music Ph.D. and research scholar from Vel’s University, Chennai. He has a repertoire of more than 3000 compositions, and he teaches many students online and in person in the Chicago area.
Armed with excellent pedigree, an impeccable musical lineage, and many years of committed hard work, Kiranavali Vidyasankar has charted out a unique path for herself in Carnatic music as a performer, educator and writer.
Kiranavali was introduced to the music world by her father & guru, Shri. Chitravina Narasimhan, as a prodigy at age two, who could identify over 200 ragas (melodies) and 175 talas (rhythmic cycles). She embarked on her vocal career at the age of five and has since established herself firmly as musician with a distinct voice and scholarship. Her training also includes tutelage under her illustrious brother and guru, Shri. Chitravina N. Ravikiran and the legendary vocalist Smt. T Brinda.
Kiranavalis’ career as a performer has taken her to many renowned centers across India, USA, Canada and Europe such as the National Center for Performing Arts (Mumbai), Shanmukhananda Fine Arts (Mumbai), India International Center (New Delhi), India Habitat Center (New Delhi), The Music Academy (Chennai), Cleveland Tyagaraja Festival (Ohio), Bharati Kala Manram (Toronto), Ethnological Museum (Hamburg), Reitberg Museum (Zurich), Shanmukhananda Sabha (Mumbai) and Kalasagaram (Hyderabad). She has also been invited to present talks on Carnatic music on numerous occasions by well-known organizations.
Kiranavali is a gifted teacher with a rich and vast experience of three decades, both at the institutional and private levels. She has served as an advanced-level faculty at Sri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts, Mumbai (1999-2001), the International Foundation for Carnatic Music (2002 onwards), the Center for World Music (2002), and many others. Since 2002, she has made a significant difference to the musical and cultural landscape across the United States, touching cities as widespread as Philadelphia, Buffalo, and San Diego. She holds a special position as a Voice Associate at the University of Pennsylvania besides teaching at various other universities & institutions. Many of her students are frontline performers in the United States and elsewhere today.
As a distinguished writer, Kiranavali has contributed numerous articles on music to various newspapers, journals, websites, and magazines, besides being the editor of www.carnatica.com, and the book Ragas at a Glance.
Her passionate contributions to music in these multiple capacities have been recognized through various awards and titles from organizations across India and the United States over the years. She was the first musician to win a prestigious project grant from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage in Philadelphia. She is also the first Carnatic musician to receive multiple project grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
Sankari Krishnan M.A. M.Phil (Music), a gold medalist from the University of Madras was initiated into music at a very tender age by Shri K.S.Subramanian of Trichy. His encouragement had fired a passion in Sankari to pursue music as a career. While doing her post graduation in Music in Chennai, she had the good fortune of becoming a disciple of one of the greatest maestros of all times,Padmabhushan Lalgudi Shri G.Jayaraman. This privilege continued uninterrupted for more than twenty years until the great Guru left his mortal coils. She has been fortunate to absorb his music and become a responsible torch bearer of his bani.
An “A” Grade artiste in All India Radio, Chennai, she has performed in the prestigious Akashvani Sangeeth Sammelan and National
Programmes in AIR & Doordharshan. She has also given many interviews/interactive programmes in Doordharshan and other private channels like JAYA TV, VIJAY TV and MAKKAL TV.
She has been performing in almost all the prestigious organizations and sabhas in Chennai and all over India. In this regard, she cherishes the rare honour of rendering special “Veena & Voice” concerts alongside eminent Veena maestro, Dr. Karaikudi S.Subramanian. She has also been going on concert tours in USA, UK, Germany, Finland, Singapore and Malaysia.
Sankari has done interactive performances with popular western classical and jazz musicians of international repute from USA and Germany. In this context, she had the rare privilege of being part of OMI International Musicians’ Residency in New York wherein she skillfully interacted with top musicians from all over the globe.