Kamalakiran Vinjamuri, a teenage violin prodigy, will perform at Shenandoah University as part of the Carnatic Classical Music Concert, presented on Friday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. in Goodson Chapel/Recital Hall on the university’s main campus in Winchester, Virginia. The event is free and open to the public.
Joining Vinjamuri are guest musicians Sumanth Swaminathan, Ph.D., and Vijay Ganesh, playing saxophone and mridangam respectively. The ensemble, led by Dr. Swaminathan, will perform a southern Indian classical concert called a kutcheri. They will also perform and explain a variety of compositions that illustrate some of the fundamentals and stylistic conventions of southern Indian music.
Earlier in the day, the artists will preview the program, with additional demonstrations and background, in Halpin-Harrison Hall, Stimpson Auditorium from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Both the lecture and concert are presented as First-Year Seminar common events and are sponsored by the Virginia Wojno-Forney Art Lecture Series. If time permits, the musicians will solicit participation from the audience. Both performances are free and open to the public. Questions? Contact Geraldine Kiefer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the guest artists:
Sumanth Swaminathan, Ph.D., began training in vocal Carnatic music at the age of eight, and at the age of 14, was initiated into Carnatic music on the saxophone by Carnatic music pioneer Kadri Gopalnath. Dr. Swaminathan has studied under additional renowned teachers in the United States and India as well.
He has performed in concerts and festivals around the world, including the Silver Jubilee celebrations of the Carnatic Music Association of North America (CMANA) in 2002 and the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2003. For years, Swaminathan has been a highly sought after solo artist for kutcheris, dance productions and wedding concerts throughout the U.S.
Swaminathan holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a Ph.D. in applied mathematics. He is a research scientist, recording artist and carnatic saxophone teacher in the greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area.
Kamalakiran Vinjamuri first took to the stage at the age of two in a dance ballet. Since then, he has made his mark as a violin prodigy, first studying under his father and grandfather during his early years, and then training with preeminent Carnatic musicians including Avasarala Kanyakumari and M. Vijayalakshmi. Kamalakiran plays Carnatic classical music on the keyboard, mouth organ (harmonica) and violin.
He has given several performances and won several music competition prizes both in the United States and India. He accompanied several upcoming and leading musicians in Chennai, India, during the 2009 and 2010 December music festivals.
Vinjamuri participates in Kuchipudi dance ballets choreographed and taught by his aunt. He is a Guinness Book of World Records holder for performing in the largest Kuchipudi group dance.
Vijay Ganesh has studied mridangam since the age of six. Throughout the years, he has captured the hearts of music lovers with his versatile and mastered performance on the mridangam, and has established himself as a seasoned artist. Ganesh has performed extensively in music festivals in India, the United States and Canada, and has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore, Maryland.
Ganesh is an All India Radio Chennai graded artist and has accompanied numerous eminent Carnatic and Hindustani musicians. His many awards include Best Mridangist award from Music Academy in 1999 and Best Mridangist award in Gokulashtami Festival from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha in 1998. From 1995 to 1999, he was among the awardees of the Government of India Cultural Scholarship for Mridangam.