Violinist A. Kanyakumari
|Origin||Vijayanagaram, Andhra Pradesh|
|Associated acts||Ivaturi Vijeswara Rao, M. Chandrasekaran and M. L. Vasanthakumari|
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Kanyakumari is a native of Vijayanagaram, Andhra Pradesh and has been living in Chennai for more than 5 decades. She belongs to a family of musicians. Her parents Sri Avasarala Ramarathnam and Smt. Jayalakshmi encouraged her immensely to pursue music. She was fortunate to be a sishya (disciple) of 3 great legendary gurus, Ivaturi Vijeswara Rao, M. Chandrasekaran and M. L. Vasanthakumari.
Listening to her sparkling brighas and intricate sangatis while she had just started to tread her musical journey, the respected music critic Subbudu compared her music to the ever glittering diamond stud in the nose ring of the goddess Kanyakumari. Ever since she has received innumerable accolades and praise from audiences worldwide and discerning critics for her innovation, accompaniment and solo performances while at the same time strictly adhering to the Carnatic music tradition. Needless to say it is her dedication and sincere hardwork along with the able guidance of her gurus Ivaturi Vijeshwara Rao, M. Chandrasekharan and M. L. Vasanthakumari which have groomed her into a front ranking violinist. Her extensive experience spanning more than 5 decades combined with a sharp acumen and fine sense of creativity has earned her a distinct place. She has evolved her own style of melodious playing and silken bowing which closely resembles vocal music rhapsodising audiences all over.
Innovations and Challenging Feats She has many successful creative innovations to her credit. "Vadya Lahari" her brain child is a new combo of the violin, veena and Nadaswaram. "Tristhayi sangamam" Confluence of 3 violins playing in different octaves portraying a special dimension. "Carnatic Music Ensembles" of 25, 50, 75 and 100 violins as well as 100 instrument ensemble commemorating the millennium A music piece "100 ragamalika swarams" which exposes her dexterity in bringing out the raga swaroopam in just one avarthana each. 29 hours non stop marathon performance
She has dedicated her life to music and is grateful to the Almighty, gurus, parents, students, sabhas, critics and rasikas for their continued support. Recently she has composed 7 ragas bearing the names of the 7 hills of Thirumala.
Awards and honours
- Padma Shri (the fourth highest civilian award) awarded by Indian Government 2015
- The prestigious Sangita Kalanidhi award (for the year 2016) from the Madras Music Academy, Chennai
- Kalaimamani from Govt. of Tamil Nadu
- Ugadi Puraskarfrom Govt. of Andhra Pradesh
- Top Rank by A.I.R
- Honorary citizenship of the state of Maryland,U.S
- TTK Award from the Music Academy,Chennai
- Asthana Viidushi of Sringeri Sarada Peetam,Ahobila Mutt and Avadhoota Peetam
- "Saptagiri sangeetha vidwanmani from Sri Tyagaraja Festival Committee of Tirupathi.
- Dhanurveena Praveena, a title bestowed on her by M.S. Subbulakshmi, commemorating Kanyakumari's 25 years in concerts
- Sangeeta Kala Nipuna, from the Mylapore Fine Arts Club, 2002 
- Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, 2003
- Sangeetha Chudamani Award from Krishna Gana Sabha, 2012
She was selected for Limca Book of Records 2004 for her various achievements in music as a versatile woman violinist.
She is a dedicated teacher and 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 has also released Violin Lessons Tutorial videos for students who do not have access to learn directly from a guru. These videos are available for purchase at kanyalessons.com