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.
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.
Passionate about music, Subramaniam was also dedicated to science. He studied medicine, finishing his MBBS at Madras Medical College and registered as a General Practitioner. Subsequently he did his Master’s Degree in Western Classical Music in California and he finally decided to dedicate his life to music. From then on, his artistic activity was to spread in many directions. No one else is as qualified as Dr. L. Subramaniam to experiment with new concepts and different ideas because of his stable foundation in Karnatic Classical, Western Music, Orchestration and rhythm. He is the creator of the Global Music concept.
He has received several awards and honours, including the coveted Padma Bhushan and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for “The Most Creative Artist” from the President of India. He has been awarded the “Nada Chakravarti” (Emperor of Sound) from H.H Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swami-ji. In recognition of his contribution to the World of Music, he has been conferred with Honorary Doctorates (D Litt.) by Bangalore University, University of Madras and Sheffield University.
Keynote Performance - Nepalese Folk Orchestra
In Nepal playing an instrument and dancing in a group is a common practice. The famous Nepali ensemble “The Panchai Baja” (five instruments) is named after its five main instruments: the sahnai (a double reed wind instrument), the damaha (large kettledrum), the Tyamko (small kettledrum), the Dolakhi (two-headed drum), and the jhyali (cymbals). Music scholar the late, Ram Saran Darnal restricts the name "Panchai Baja" to a group using these five instruments only, while others categorize the bands more loosely. The term Naumati Baja (nine instruments) is sometimes used to describe a larger band; Darnal states that the Naumati Baja specifically contains nine instruments: those that comprise the Panchai Baja with an added damaha and sahanai, as well as two Narsingha (long, curved horn, popular in central Nepal), or karnal (natural trumpet, popular in western Nepal). In general, the term Panchai Baja is often used for both ensembles.
“As a multi racial, multi linguistic and multi cultural country, Nepal is well known for its cultures. These indigenous inhabitants of this country are proud of their ancient heritage. They have preserved their traditions, languages and cultures. It is worth mentioning they have raised their cultural diversity to the level of common heritage of humanity; as necessary for human kind as biodiversity for nature.” Mr. Satya Mohan Joshi
In this context Nepal Music Center have created Nepalese Folk Symphony Orchestra representing the different folk music of the ethnic communities across five regions ( Eastern, Central, Western, Mid-western and Far Western) and fourteen zones (Mechi, Koshi, Janakpur, Sagarmatha , Bagmati, Narayani, Gandaki, Lumbini, Dhawalagiri, Rapti, Karnali ,Bheri,Seti , Mahakali) of Nepal. They will play in harmony and for national unity which is an example of how the Nepalese people can live and work together in harmony and foster feelings of oneness through artistic expressions.
Against the backdrop of such a scenario one can understand the significance of music striking humanistic values in the name of protecting cultural diversity.
Lochan Rijal is an ethnomusicologist, a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter. He has won several national awards for his albums and an international award for his performance. His music blends various musical genres to poetic form that create multi-layered allusions and symbolic parallels drawn from everyday life. He composes his music on sarangi, arbaja and guitar.
His article publications "Melba Devi" & "T.L Rana" can be found in the press Article Oxford: Garland Encyclopedia.
He has been the UN Goodwill ambassador by the Millennium Development Campaign and also UN Youth Advocate of the by the United Nations Millennium Campaign.
Dr. Sapna Thapa is an assistant professor for Early Childhood Teacher Education in the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Her research areas include cross-cultural investigations of equity, quality, diversity and inter-cultural exchange in early childhood teacher education. Currently she is involved in a collaborative research project spanning threecountries (Nepal, USA and Nicaragua) to study the ‘child in cultural context’ in order to prepare early childhood educators to understand the cultural nature of teaching andlearning. The outcomes of the research are being documented and will be published in the book chapter titled "Collaborative Cross Cultural Research Methodologies in Diverse
Early Care and Education Contexts” (S. Madrid, M. J. Moran, R. Brookshire, and M.Buchanan Eds.) in early 2017. Her publications include articles related to policies onequity and quality in early childhood education and how globalization has raised the expectations of readiness for young children. She is an advisory board member of the Global visions through mobilizing networks: Co-developing intercultural music teacher education in Finland, Israel and Nepal project.
Besides academics, Dr. Thapa enjoys having deep and meaningful conversations withpreschoolers, early childhood educators, reading both fiction and non-fiction, watchingmovies and traveling to places on her bucket list.