T. H. Vinayakram
|Thetakudi Harihara Vinayakram|
August 11, 1942 |
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Thetakudi Harihara Vinayakram (born Aug 11, 1942), also known as Vikku Vinayakram is a Grammy Award–winning Indian percussionist. He plays Carnatic music with the ghatam, an earthen pot, and is credited with popularizing the ghatam.
He was awarded the Padma Shri, given by Government of India in 2002, and later the 2012 Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, the highest honour in the performing arts conferred by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama. Finally he was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2014.
Vinayakram was born to Kalaimaamani T. R. Harihara Sharma, a musician and teacher. He took up playing at a very young age.
Vinayakram's concert career began at the age of 13. His first performance occurred on March 5, 1957 at the Sri Rama Navami festival in Thoothukudi. While proceeding for the arangetram the tuned ghatam instrument was broken by a child named Ganesh, which by itself had been a good omen for his bright career. where he accompanied V.V.Sadagopan. He was soon accompanying many famous vocalists in Carnatic music at the time, including Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar, Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna, G. N. Balasubramaniam, Madurai Mani Iyer, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, M. S. Subbulakshmi and Maharajapuram Santhanam, among others. His brother, T. H. Subhash Chandran, also excelled in the field. The Ghatam followed the master by rising to fame as a percussion instrument that required nimble fingers and strong stomach muscles to control the mouth of the pot.
He has also performed at Basant Utsav, the annual fund raiser for the Banyan.
Vinayakram is Principal of Sri Jaya Ganesh Tala Vadya Vidyalaya in Chennai, India - the academy established by his late father and teacher in 1958. It continues to produce new stars of Carnatic percussion. Vinayakram's son V. Selvaganesh is a successful percussionist, especially after tours with John McLaughlin's group, Remember Shakti.
- Natural Elements (Shakti album) (1977)
- Planet Drum (1991) – Mickey Hart
- Mysterium Tremendum (2012) – Mickey Hart Band
Vinayakram was conferred the Hafiz Ali Khan Award for “unmatched contribution in the field of music” in 2000. He is also the first South Indian musician to be awarded the Grammy for Best World Music Album for his participation in Mickey Hart's Planet Drum, in which he played ghatam and morsing. He donated all the proceeds from the award to a charity organization in south India. He was also nominated for the 1996 Grammy Awards for Best World Music Album for his participation in 'Raga Aberi' along with L. Shankar on the ten string double violin and Zakir Hussain on the tabla (the piece is set in the tala cycle of 4¾ beats). The Indian Government decorated him with the Padma Shri Award in 2002.
Finally, he was awarded the 2012 Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (Akademi Ratna), the highest award in performing arts in India, given by Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama. In 2014 he was awarded the Padma Bhushan by Government of India 
- Salkar, Tanvi (2009-12-03). "Hart beat". The Indian Express.
- "Padma Awards Directory (1954–2009)". Ministry of Home Affairs.
- "Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowships and Akademi Awards 2012". Press Information Bureau, Govt of India. Retrieved May 28, 2012.
- "Padma Awards Announced". Press Information Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs. 25 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-01-26.