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|Akkarai S. Subhalakshmi|
Akkarai S. Subhalakshmi is a 21st-century violinist in the field of Carnatic music. She is the daughter of renowned violinist Akkarai Swaminathan.
Life and career
Akkarai S Subhalakshmi, one of the young stars of India, is a South Indian classical (Carnatic) violinist and vocalist par excellence whose rich, soulful music has touched the hearts of listeners around the world.
A child prodigy, Subhalakshmi hails from a musical family; her grandfather Suchindram Shri S P Sivasubramanian was a prolific musician and composer, and her grandmother Smt R Sornambal a harikatha exponent and music teacher. Subhalakshmi is the disciple of her father, Akkarai Shri S Swamynathan, a veteran violinist and founder of the Swara Raga Sudha school of music, and his intensive training enabled her to debut as a performing violinist and vocalist at the age of eight. She also trained under Shri V Janakiraman, Shri O V Subramanian and his daughter Smt Padma Natesan of New Delhi, and later on, Padmabhushan Shri P S Narayanaswamy and particularly Chitravina Shri N Ravikiran, who had her in many of his concerts and provided her with valuable musical guidance and experience.
One of the leading Carnatic violinists today, Subhalakshmi’s playing is characterized by a rich tone and artful bowing, as well as sensitive and precise fingering, capable of reproducing the finest nuances of the human voice. Thus, she has developed a style of her own, featuring the richness of Indian vocal music, combined with the versatility of the violin. As an accompanist, she has played for many legendary artistes, such as Dr M Balamuralikrishna, Chitravina N Ravikiran, T V Gopalakrishnan, Dr N Ramani, and R K Srikanthan, and has become known for her unique acumen in blending seamlessly with the music, while enlivening and enhancing it skillfully.
Subhalakshmi’s concerts have taken her all over the world, including Japan, Singapore, U.S.A., Canada, Germany, Italy, U.K., South Korea, the Middle East, Australia, Sri Lanka, and many more. She had played in the Indo-Russian cultural exchange programme at age thirteen, and has been featured in prestigious events like the Théâtre de la Ville Festival (Paris), the farewell concert for Zubin Mehta (Munich), the Mahatma Gandhi Institute Sangeet Utsav (Mauritius), and the Cleveland Tyagaraja Aradhana (U.S.A.). Subhalakshmi has also played in jugalbandi and fusion concerts with Chitravina Ravikiran, alongside artistes like Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and Pt Ronu Majumdar. Subhalakshmi also performs many violin and vocal duets with her younger sister Akkarai S Sornalatha, and they are popularly known as ‘Akkarai Sisters’.
Numerous accolades have come her way; she received the Rajiv Gandhi Yuva Puraskar award from the President of India at the age of thirteen, and has since earned a host of awards, including Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar award from the Sangeet Natak Akademy (2007), Vani Kala Nipuna (2012), the Kalki Krishnamurthy Memorial Award (2007), Yuva Kala Bharathi (2002), the Shanmukha Shiromani (awarded to the sisters together in 2009), the Music Academy Outstanding Young Violinist Award (1999, 2001, 2006, & 2007). She was identified as one of India’s 50 emerging stars by The Week magazine’s issue commemorating the Indian nation’s 50th anniversary. She is an A-Grade Artiste of All India Radio.
Subhalakshmi has released many albums, both violin and vocal, such as ‘Keeravani’ and ‘Varali’, and violin duet albums with her sister, such as ‘Inta Saukhyam’.
She attributes all her success to her gurus, especially her father Akkarai Shri S Swamynathan, who established her as a musician and continues to guide her.
Awards and honours
- Kala Bhushan
- Kala Shree
- Rajiv-Gandhi Puraskar
- Rajiv Gandhi Youth Award
- Delhi State First Award
- Outstanding young violinist award from The Music Academy (1999 and 2001)
- Inspiring Child Artist Award from Valayapatti Nadaayala (1999)
- Critic K.S. Mahadevan Award from Narada Gana Sabha (2000)
- The Best Performance Award from The Music Academy (2000)
- The Best Violinist Award from The Indian Fine Arts Society (2001)
- The Best Violinist of the year 2001 has been awarded by the writer Sujatha in Anandha Vikatan
- The Youth Merit Award 2002 has been awarded by The Rotary Club of Madras Industrial City
- The Yuva Kala Bharathi Award has been awarded by Bharat Kalachar (2002).
- The Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar award from the Sangeet Natak Akademy (2007)
- Vani Kala Nipuna (2012)
- The Kalki Krishnamurthy Memorial Award (2007)
- The Shanmukha Shiromani Award
- Kala Rathna from The Cleveland Aradhana Committee, 2013
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