T. S. Nandakumar

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T. S. Nandakumar
T S Nandakumar , Mridangam.jpg
Background information
Also known asTSN, Bombay Nandakumar
Born (1958-03-17) 17 March 1958 (age 63)
Ambalappuzha, Kerala, India
GenresCarnatic music
Occupation(s)musician, composer, conductor, teacher
Instrumentsmridangam, konnakol, thavil, ghatam, kanjira, morsing
LabelsAVM, Gita, Kosmik

T. S. Nandakumar (born 17 March 1958) is a well known Indian versatile carnatic music percussionist. He is primarily adept in playing the mridangam.[1]

Personal life[edit]

T. Shankaranaryanan Nandakumar (T S Nandakumar) was born on 17 March 1958 in Ambalappuzha, Kerala, India. He is the son of Shri Balakrishna Panicker and Shrimati Saraswati. He comes from the family of the well known nadaswaram exponents, the Ambalapuzha Brothers. A child prodigy, Nandakumar had only talent with which he conquered the world of music with his beats on the mridangam. He learnt mridangam under the guidance of Shri Kaithavana Madhavdas in the gurukula samprada tradition and acquired proficiency as Laya Vidwan.[2]

Nandakumar developed a strong interest in music when he was four years old. He gained a reputation as an accompanist to some well known names in carnatic music such as Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, M. D. Ramanathan, S. Ramanathan, R. K. Srikantan, V. Dakshinamoorthy, Bhimsen Joshi, M. Balamuralikrishna, T. N. Krishnan, L. Subramaniam, N. Ramani, K. J. Yesudas, N. Rajam, T. K. Govindarao, Nedunuri Krishnamurthy, T. V. Gopalakrishnan, Parassala B. Ponnammal, A. Kanyakumari, M. Chandrasekaran and several others. He has taken up his life mission to perpetuate Indian ancient art form and has dedicated himself in teaching the same to hundreds of students worldwide. He was quoted as "Guru of all musical things", "King of percussion in suburbs" and "The Master Of Rhythm" by The Times of India.[3][4]


Besides being an amiable accompanist,[5][6] Nandakumar has shown a flair for teaching and training students in a number of music institutions and fine arts sabhas in Mumbai. Not content with just training, he has found a medium for the students to hone their skills and play in unison. TSN's percussive Arts Centre which is a composite unit drawn from talented teenagers. He trained his students in instruments like mridangam, konnakol, thavil, ghatam, kanjira, and morsing used in playing for ensemble. Under his tutelage, the ensemble has been performing with excellence. Having performed all over Mumbai and in the south of India, he came out with Jewels Of Rhythm album which was a commercial success. It turned to be a 'prized possessions' for all aspirants, young and old, learning the arts of percussion[7]

Nandakumar has been promoting Indian carnatic music both as a teacher and a performer.[8] He had the privilege of performing for various festivals all over the country,[9][10] besides giving performances for All India Radio and Doordarshan.

Nandakumar felicitated by R K Laxman in Nehru Centre, Bombay

He has conducted several musical concerts, lectures cum demonstration and workshops in India as well as abroad like Lamar University of Houston, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and several others to train students and build their rapport with artists by accompanying them.[11][12][13] Nandakumar has adapted to the modern world to take in students of any age, and bring them to the performance stage in an ensemble format. In return he achieves intense dedication and exceptional results from pupils who otherwise would not have participated in the traditional teaching model. Most all of his students are graded artists in All India Radio and are full-time professionals in this field. They are also following the new path trail marked by their guru by spreading the knowledge of Carnatic percussion to their own ever growing number of students around the world. Another of his important contributions of major significance to Carnatic percussion music is his willingness to teach older students based outside of India who begin their training with him without any background in Carnatic percussion or Indian culture.[14][15][16][17]

Nandakumar has earned several awards. He received the LifeTime Achievement Award from Shanti Foundation, Chennai for his contributions to the field of Indian classical music. He was honored by the Cleveland Tyagaraja group with the 'Best Teacher Award' where M. Balamuralikrishna and Nirupama Rao, Indian Ambassador to the United States was the guest of honor, and the Bharat Ratna M. S. Subbulakshmi Best Teacher Award from the Shanmukhananda Fine Arts and Sangeetha Sabha, Mumbai.[18] He was also felicitated and honoured by Shri R. K. Laxman the cartoonist.

Pittsburgh University in America conducts special classes in percussive arts for which they have enlisted Nandakumar. He used to conduct classes in the Venkateswara Temple, Pittsburgh;[19][20] Academy of Indian Music, New Jersey;[21] Switzerland and several places in other countries. He also conducted 24 hours non stop Akanda Seva Bhajan with his students in Mumbai for the tsunami-affected victims of India.


TSN's Percussive Arts Centre[edit]

TSN's Percussive Arts Centre was founded in response to demand from students for higher learning in the art of percussion in the year 1998 and was inaugurated by Dr V Subramanium, Former Maharashtra minister and staunch Congressman in India, Mumbai.[52][53] Since inception, the centre has presented several annual events which included performances by well-known artists in carnatic music, amongst others by N. Rajam, N. Ramani, A. Kanyakumari, L. Subramaniam and several others at the Shanmukhananda Hall, Chembur Fine Arts Hall and other different places. Such events organized under the banner of TSN's Percussive Arts Centre serve as an inspiration to young students and encourage them to take to the stage. Nandakumar has Indian students as well as non-Indian students all over the globe. He conducted decennary function of the centre with a performance by ninety six students on stage.[54]

Nandakumar used to train students in different percussion instruments and in Konnakol 'scat singing' for their stage performances. His students are also popularizing the same art given to them by teaching other students. His centre is also in Zurich, Switzerland and the company was also incorporated in the US as 'TSN's Percussive Arts Centre.Inc' in New Jersey, United States [55] with the motive of promoting Indian classical music all over the world.

Guru Sishyas Talavadya Kutcheri Concept[edit]

He started the Guru Sishyas Talavadya Kutcheri Concept where in it includes the lead mridangam played by himself i.e. the guru and his own trained students: the Sishyas on the instruments like mridangam, konnakol, thavil, ghatam, kanjira, and the morsing.[56] It was conducted in several platforms of Mumbai with good responses. He also introduced and conducted 108 student performances on stage on all the instruments including drums in the Cleveland Tyagaraja festival.[57][58] Thereafter he conducted the similar performance in New Jersey and other places.[59]

Titles, awards and honours[edit]

Nandakumar honored by the Cleveland Thyagaraja group with the 'Best Teacher Award' from Nirupama Rao, Indian Ambassador to the United States
  • Title - SwaraSadhana Ratna
  • Title - Gurushikhamani[60]
  • Title - Sruthilaya Sudhakara
  • Life Time Achievement Award by Shanti Foundation, Chennai
  • Cleveland Thygaraja Aradhana Committee awarded him as the Best Teacher Award at Ohio, United States[61]
  • Bharat Ratna Dr. M. S. Subbulakshmi Best Teacher Award (Bharat Ratna Dr. M. S. Subbulakshmi Sangeetha Pracharya Award)[62]
  • Excellence Award by Namam Inc from New Jersey Senate at New Jersey, United States[63][64]
  • Awarded from Soorya Dance Festival
  • Honoured by Shanmukhananda Fine Arts & Sangeetha Sabha, Mumbai
  • Honoured by Padam, Mumbai
  • Honoured by Music Triangle, Mumbai
  • Honoured by Naadalaya, Mumbai
  • Honoured by Swara Sadhana Samithi, Mumbai
  • Honoured by Mudra, Chennai
  • Honoured by TVG Academy, Chennai[65][66][67][68][69][70]


  1. ^ "Devoted To Mridangam". Mumbai, India.
  2. ^ "Bio Of TSN". Mumbai, India.
  3. ^ "Paper Cutting for Guru of all musical things and Master of Rhythm By Times Of India". Mumbai, India.
  4. ^ "Paper Cutting for King of Percussion in suburbs". Mumbai, India.
  5. ^ "Accompanist in Dr K J Yesudas Concert". Mumbai, India.
  6. ^ "Deccan Abroad news". Atlanta, USA.
  7. ^ "Jewels of Rhythm Vol. 2". Mumbai, India: Music India on-line. 10 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Accompaniment - Mridangam T S Nandakumar for Indian Concert with Grammy-nominated musician, Chandrika Tandon". California, United States.
  9. ^ "T S Nandakumar Performance in New Jersey, United States" (PDF). New Jersey, USA.
  10. ^ "T S Nandakumar performance in Cleveland Festival Ohio, United States". Ohio, USA.
  11. ^ "Article of India Journal Article in Dr K J Yesudas Concert LA". Mumbai, India.
  12. ^ "Accompanist in Dr K J Yesudas Concert IndiaWest Article". Mumbai, India.
  13. ^ "Concert in Canada with Dr K J Yesudas Concert Flyer". Mumbai, India.
  14. ^ "Vivek Rajagopalan, Professional -Student Of T S Nandakumar". Mumbai, India.
  15. ^ "Student of T S Nandakumar". Mumbai, India.
  16. ^ "Foreign Student Of T S Nandakumar". Mumbai, India.
  17. ^ "Student Of T S Nandakumar". Mumbai, India.
  18. ^ Shanmukhananda fine arts sabha (16 September 2007), M S Subbulakshmi Best Teacher Award, retrieved 16 September 2007
  19. ^ "Rasikas - T S Nandakumar in Europe". Mumbai, India.
  20. ^ "Stuart chandler Arts in pittsburgh". Pittsburgh, USA.
  21. ^ "T S Nandakumar as a faculty member in Academy of Indian Music, New jersey USA". New Jersey, USA.
  22. ^ "Album - Jewels Of Rhythm - T S Nandakumar". Mumbai, India.
  23. ^ "Itunes Album - Jewels Of Rhythm - T S Nandakumar - Itunes". Mumbai, India.
  24. ^ "Itunes Album - Jewels Of Rhythm 2- T S Nandakumar". Mumbai, India.
  25. ^ "Itunes Album - Jewels Of Rhythm 3- T S Nandakumar". Mumbai, India.
  26. ^ "Vibrative Rhythms - T S Nandakumar". Mumbai, India.
  27. ^ "Vibrative Rhythms - T S Nandakumar". Mumbai, India.
  28. ^ "Vibrative Rhythms - T S Nandakumar Apple Online". Mumbai, India.
  29. ^ "Vibrative Rhythms 2 - T S Nandakumar". New Jersey, USA.
  30. ^ "Vibrative Rhythms 2 - T S Nandakumar Saavn Online". New Jersey, USA.
  31. ^ "Vibrative Rhythms 2- T S Nandakumar Apple Online". New Jersey, USA.
  32. ^ "Sruti Sandhya - T S Nandakumar". Mumbai, India.
  33. ^ "Sruti Sandhya 2 - T S Nandakumar". Mumbai, India.
  34. ^ "Itunes Album - Vibrations". Mumbai, India.
  35. ^ "Itunes Album - South Indian Percussion". Mumbai, India.
  36. ^ "Album - Mridangam Solo - T S Nandakumar on Itunes". Mumbai, India.
  37. ^ "Itunes Album - Demonstration on Talas and Rhythms". Mumbai, India.
  38. ^ "Itunes Album - Konnakol". Mumbai, India.
  39. ^ "Amazon Album - Cascades Of Rhythm". New Jersey, USA.
  40. ^ "Album - Classical Treat by Nedunuri Krishnamurthy with Mridangam T S Nandakumar on Itunes". Mumbai, India.
  41. ^ "Album - Jugalbandi Duet Series on Itunes". Mumbai, India.
  42. ^ "Album - Jugalbandi Duet Series on YouTube". Mumbai, India.
  43. ^ "Album - A Duet On Strings on Itunes". Mumbai, India.
  44. ^ "Album - Classical Instrumental Moods on Itunes". Mumbai, India.
  45. ^ "Album - Matunga Sisters on Itunes". Mumbai, India.
  46. ^ "Album - Matunga Sisters on YouTube". Mumbai, India.
  47. ^ "Album -Swati Tirunal Kritis on Amazon". Mumbai, India.
  48. ^ "Album - Swati Tirunal Kritis on YouTube". Mumbai, India.
  49. ^ "Album - Divine Expressions on itunes". Mumbai, India.
  50. ^ "Album - Surabhi on spotify". Mumbai, India.
  51. ^ "Album - Surabhi on itunes". Mumbai, India.
  52. ^ "Video Of Inaugural function of TSN's percussive Arts centre in the year 1998". Mumbai, India.
  53. ^ "News regarding Dr V Subramanium". Mumbai, India.
  54. ^ "Decennary Function - T S Nandakumar's 96 students". Mumbai, India.
  55. ^ "TSN's Percussive Arts Centre Registration in United States, New Jersey". New Jersey, United States.
  56. ^ "Talavadya Concert By T S Nandakumar and Students in Shanmukhananda Hall, Mumbai". Mumbai, India.
  57. ^ "Cleveland Concert By T S Nandakumar and Students". Cleveland, Ohio.
  58. ^ "Schedule of Cleveland Concert By T S Nandakumar and Students". Cleveland, Ohio.
  59. ^ "Video of Cleveland Concert By T S Nandakumar and Students". Cleveland, Ohio.
  60. ^ "Gurushikamani Award". Mumbai, India. Archived from the original on 18 February 2009.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  61. ^ "Best Teacher Award in Cleveland". Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
  62. ^ "Best Teacher Award by Shanmukhananda". Mumbai, India.
  63. ^ "Namam Excellence Award - Mathrubhumi News". New Jersey, USA.
  64. ^ "Namam Excellence Award - NRI News". New Jersey, USA.
  65. ^ "List of Awards of T S Nandakumar". Mumbai, India.
  66. ^ "Awards of T S Nandakumar". Mumbai, India.
  67. ^ "Awards of T S Nandakumar in Parassala Ponnammal's Flyer" (PDF). Mumbai, India.
  68. ^ "T S Nandakumar Award". Mumbai, India.
  69. ^ "T S Nandakumar Awarding Shanmukha Magazine". Mumbai, India.
  70. ^ "T S Nandakumar Award Archive". Mumbai, India. Archived from the original on 5 December 2014.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)

External links[edit]