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History + Culture
Dr. L. Subramaniam - Violin
L. Subramaniam, India’s violin icon, “The Paganini of Indian Classical music”, “the God of Indian Violin” is the serenity of an Indian musician combined with the magnetism of a western star. Constantly propelled from Singapore to Paris, from Delhi to Los Angeles, he has conquered every audience with the elegance and virtuosity of his style.
His career as a childhood prodigy brought him into contact with the greatest musicians and he soon imposed himself as a master of the violin. At a very young age, he was honoured with the title “Violin Chakravarthy” (emperor of the violin). No other musician can boast of such diverse repertoire and collaborations, or even such mind-boggling techniques. Till date, Dr. Subramaniam has produced, performed, collaborated, conducted and close to two hundred recordings.
Dr. L. Subramaniam is the only musician who has performed and recorded South Indian Classical Music, Western Classical Music, both Orchestral and non-Orchestral, and also composed for and conducted major orchestras, scored for films, collaborated with a wide range of some of the greatest musicians, from different genres of music including jazz, occidental, jugalbandis with North Indian musicians, world music and global fusion. He has established himself as a force that is strongly Indian, but universal in nature and approach.
His insatiable musical curiosity made short shrift of all kinds of technique, of all types of form (he has composed for several western classical orchestras and ballets) and of all new experiences (he was a musical advisor to Peter Brook about the sound concepts for his “Mahabharata”). He has composed music for a select few films, including “Salaam Bombay” and “Mississippi Masala” and was the featured soloist for Bernardo Bertolucci’s “Little Buddha” and “Cotton Mary” of Merchant – Ivory Productions. This total receptivity towards the world, this polymorphous talent, this technical mastery all however find their truest experience in the service of Karnatic music, the tradition he has inherited from his Father and Guru, Professor V. Lakshminarayana. Dr. L. Subramaniam’s parents Prof. V. Lakshminaryana and V. Seethalakshmi were the driving force behind their son and the reason he chose a life in music.
His full bio can be found on his website.
Smt. Shubha Mudgal - Voice
Born into a musically dedicated family, Shubha Mudgal has been trained by some of the finest musicians and musicologists in India. Trained by eminent scholar-musician-composer Pandit Ramashreya Jha “Ramrang”, she also received guidance from Pandit Vinaya Chandra Maudgalya and Pandit Vasant Thakar. She later learnt stylistic techniques from well-known maestros Pandit Jitendra Abhisheki and Pandit Kumar Gandharva. She also received training in thumri from Smt. Naina Devi and is thus a versatile and popular performer.
In addition to being a performer, Shubha has also won recognition as a composer. She is the recipient of numerous timesawards, including the Padma Shri from the Government of India in the year 2000, and the Gold Plaque Award for Special Achievement in Music at the 34th Chicago International Film Festival, 1998, and the Yash Bharati Samman from the Government of Uttar Pradesh in 2015.
She has also been closely involved with several projects related toto music education in India. Formerly a member of the Central Advisory Board of Education constituted by the Government of India, Shubha also chaired a focus group discussing the need for introducing an arts education program in mainstream school education during the National Curriculum Framework 2005. Shubha Mudgal was also a Nana Shirgaokar Visiting Research Professor for traditional music at Goa University.
Shubha Mudgal along with Aneesh Pradhan has established an online distribution platform for musicians specializing in diverse forms of Indian music through their website
Among the many projects they have initiated in their efforts to preserve the rich musical heritage of India is , an online encyclopedia of Indian Music.
More information is available on her website.
Sandeep Das - Tabla
Sandeep Das is an internationally celebrated Tabla virtuoso and composer with a career spanning six continents and more than 28 years.
Since his debut concert at the age of 17 with Pt. Ravi Shankar, he has performed with many of the legends of Indian classical music such as Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ust. Amjad Ali Khan, and Pt. Shivkumar Sharma, in addition to many iconic artists of other traditions such as Yo-Yo Ma, Paquito D’Rivera and countless others.
Das’ prolific career has spanned across globe with regularly featured concerts at venues such as the Carnegie Hall, the BBC Proms, the Sydney Opera House, and many more. Performances for significant events such as the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics and for audiences such as the United Nations and the Pope have established him as a highly sought-after performer all over the globe.
His full bio can be found on this page.
Rajib Karmakar - Sitar
Rajib Karmakar is a Los Angeles-based performance artist, composer and educator who combines tradition with innovation to create new forms of art, drawing from a deep
grounding in Indian classical music and other genres such as contemporary world music, rock and jazz.
A remarkable performing artist, composer, and educator, Rajib received his musical training in sitar by Pt. Durgadas Karmakar and Pt. Ramdas Chakravarty, and in Vocals by Ustad Ghulam Akbar Khan. He often experiments with World Music, Rock, and Jazz, and also has a Masters degree in Music Technology.
He has performed all over the world and collaborated on various projects with Dreamwork, Sony, Warner Brothers, and Disney, and frequently gives masterclasses at universities such as CalArts and Brandeis University. He is the also the founder and current director of the Los Angeles International Music and Arts Academy (LAIMA).
His full bio can be found on his website.