Thursday, June 11, 2015

Musical Anecdotes -46—Sowmya ( April 16. 1969....)

Courtesy:Sri.PP.Ramachandran

   Musical  Anecdotes  --46


                                     46—Sowmya ( April 16. 1969....)


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                                  A Carnatic musician by profession, Sowmya's life has been soaked in melody from the very beginning. Growing up in a traditional South Indian family, she had her initial tutelage in music from her father Dr. Srinivasan, a Chemical Engineer with an enduring passion for Carnatic Music. Later she was singularly fortunate to be taken under the wings of Sangita Kalanidhi Dr. S. Ramanathan - exemplary musician, esteemed musicologist and extraordinary human being. She received further training from Smt. T. Muktha, of the legendary Brinda-Muktha duo. She has stated that " I  started learning from my Father when I was four. But even when I was two and a half years old , I could identify many ragas."


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                                                           She started in 1998, "Carnatica" an institution dedicated to music & dance instruction, archival, talent search and other related activities.  She also co-authored the first comprehensive reference CD-ROM on Carnatic music, "Nadanubhava ". She is  a Visiting Professor at the Advanced School of Carnatic Music of the Music Academy Madras.


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                                         In addition to being an accomplished musician, Sowmya also has excellent academic credentials. She earned a Ph. D. degree  from the University of Madras  under the guidance of Dr. Premeela Gurumurthy. Sowmya is also a double postgraduate (Master's in Chemistry as well as Indian Music) and was a top-ranked scholar at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M) and the University of Madras .To concentrate on her music, she stopped her doctoral research program at IIT. 

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                                   Sowmya has performed in all major sabhas all over India and has presented her concerts in the United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, U A E, Germany, France, Singapore,Malaysia, Switzerland, Belgium, New Zealand, Tanzania, Sri Lanka  and  other parts of  the world.


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                               Sowmya made her film debut as an actress in the movie " Vaanavil Vaazhkai", Sowmya has played the role of a mother to the female lead, Janani, in this musical. James Vasanthan,the director said, "Sowmya was my first choice for this role. When I approached her, she was sceptical as she didn't want to act. But then I convinced her saying that there would be no need for any stereotypical acting, and that she could be her natural self in the film. Sowmya then heard the script and liked it very much. After discussing it with her family, she agreed."

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                                                           Sowmya has received several titles, awards. Some are--

Kshetragnar Padam Prize from Madras Music Academy;

"MLV Award", Outstanding young vocalist AIR Music competition prize;D.K. Pattammal Award T.V. Subba Rao Award ,"Yuva Kala Bharathi" from Bharat Kalachar; Ariyakudi Trust Award (Best Lady Vocalist); Asthana Vidushi Award From Sringeri Sharada Peetham.


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                                 Sowmya bagged a 6-year Cultural Talent Scholarship for Instrumental Music (Veena), Dept. of Culture, Govt. of India, New Delhi (at the age of 10) She was the First Carnatic musician to make a Video CD album (Live concert of Mahakavi Bharatiyar songs).

 

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                             Other than these, Sowmya is the Managing Director of Srishti's Carnatica Pvt. Ltd.; Actively involved in documenting Carnatic music as Executive Trustee of Carnatica Archival Centre for Music and Dance; Producer of popular music albums (Audio and Video) under the 'Carnatica' label; Coordinator of several successful events such as Raganubhava, Sahityanubhava, Layanubhava, Vadyanubhava and Natyanubhava series. She is  proficient in Sanskrit, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, French and English,