The conference committee invites special guests to the conference to present evening performances for conference attendees. These performances include appearances by musicians, actors, poets, magicians, filmmakers, and other artists.
The committee and organizers welcome suggestions from conference participants for future performances. We seek these suggestions post-conference through the submission deadline for the following year.
Sangeetha Sivakumar with Akkarai Subhalakshmi and Praveen Sparsh
Friday, October 21
Wisconsin Ballroom (2nd Floor) – this event is free and open to the public
Sangeetha Sivakumar is among the most respected musicians in the field of Carnatic music. She has been regularly performing in various organisations all over India and abroad, and in the prestigious December music festival conducted in Chennai every year.
Sangeetha Sivakumar sees her roles as a vocalist and educator as being only manifestations of her central belief that Carnatic music belongs to the larger societal canvas. For the last two decades and more, her work has been diverse, ranging from education programmes at various public schools in South India to music workshops in France and working with underprivileged children in the inner city schools of Chicago, USA.
For the past few years, she has been actively involved with a festival in Chennai – The Urur Olcott Kuppam Vizha – a response to the vitiated social conditions and to the isolation of arts, artists and audiences into ghettoes of caste and class. The Vizha is an effort to liberate the three and use arts to heal social tensions and serve as a bridge across cultures, communities and genres. Whether Sangeetha is on the proscenium stage singing, or talking to young minds in schools, she shares the art with the heart of a dreamer, the mind of a scholar and the spirit of an activist.
Praveen Sparsh is a multi percussionist and a music producer who started learning the art of Mridangam playing at the age of 5 from Mridangam Maestro Guruvayur Sri Dorai. He is the grandson of Mridangam exponent Tanjore Sri Upendran and great grandson of Tavil exponent Valangaiman Sri Shanmugasundaram Pillai. Praveen is one of the most sought after Mridangam exponents in the field of Carnatic music, and performs regularly with stalwarts like Sri TM Krishna, Smt. Aruna Sairam, Smt. Bombay Jayshree, Smt. Sowmya, Sri. Sikkil Gurucharan, amongst others. He has toured the United States extensively, as also, countries like Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium, Amsterdam, Singapore, Malaysia, Jakarta, Sydney, Melbourne, Israel and Palestine. Prestigious awards and titles from revered institutions in the field of Carnatic Music have also added to the recognition he has earned. These include “Laya Ratna”, “Palani Subramania Pillai Memorial Award”, “Bharat Ratna Dr.M.S. Subbulakshmi Fellowship in Music”, “Yuva Kala Bharati”, “Best Performer Award”, “Palghat Mani Iyer’s Endownment Award”, “Central Govt Scholarship for Mridangam”, “Best Mridangam Artiste” and “The Carnatic Idol”, amongst others. Praveen also performs as part of the Carnatic instrumental ensemble, ‘A Carnatic Quartet’, as also ‘An Experiment with Sound and Music’, a duet with violinist Shreya Devnath. Shreya Devnath and Praveen Sparsh have also curated a Music Outreach program for economically underprivileged children. In addition, they have curated and performed a concert exclusively for the Armed Forces of the country, in their ‘Special Project for the Armed Forces’.
Akkarai Subhalakshmi, Indian classical (Carnatic) violinist and vocalist, took the music world by storm at the tender age of eight, and her music continues to touch the hearts of countless music lovers around the world. Subhalakshmi has performed widely in India, and abroad in Japan, Singapore, North America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Israel, and so on. Her international debut was in Moscow at the age of thirteen for the Indo-Russian cultural exchange programme. She has been featured at the Théâtre de la Ville Festival (Paris), the farewell concert for Zubin Mehta (Munich), the Darbar Festival and Sadler’s Wells Theatre (U.K.), Kalman Sultanik Confederation House (Israel), a special duet with her sister for the Emperor and Empress of Japan and the Chief Minister and Governor of Tamil Nadu. Subhalakshmi was conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Yuva Puraskar award by the President of India at the age of thirteen. Her awards include the Yuva Kala Bharathi (2002), the Kalki Krishnamurthy Memorial Award (2007), the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar award from the Sangeet Natak Akademy (2007), Vani Kala Nipuna (2012), and the Shanmukha Sangeeta Shiromani (awarded to the sisters together in 2009). In 2019, she became the youngest violinist to achieve the A- Top Grade at All India Radio and Doordarshan. She had been proclaimed one of India’s 50 emerging stars by The Week magazine’s issue commemorating the Indian nation’s 50th anniversary.