Vidya Subramanian Carnatic Music Resource Page

Email: vidyasubramanian.music@gmail.com, Phone: (USA)+1-518-772-2733 | (India) +91-44-42606129

Vidya Subramanian's Musical Journey

Excerpts from press clippings and interviews


She Sings Multiple Tunes

N Sahana Arooran, News Today, Dec 12, 2013

One tends to believe that God is indeed partial, while coming across a multi-talented personality like Vidya Subramanian. A recipient of several awards and a sought-after online music teacher, Vidya is also a gold medalist in Chartered Accountancy and an MBA from Boston College in the US. Not to mention of her down-to-earth demeanour which adds to her glowing persona. A disciple of music maestro Lalgudi Jayaraman, Vidya took her baby steps in Carnatic music at the age of three.

'My first Guru was Smt Rukmini Rajgopalan', she says. Coming under the tutelage of Lalgudi in 1993, Vidya attributes her keen music sense to her Guru. 'He was extremely good at articulating his knowledge. He would encourage his students to think, developing their swara nyanam. His years of experience would effortlessly translate in class', she recollects.

It was the need to stay with her young kids and her inherent passion for teaching, which encouraged Vidya to leave behind a lucrative career abroad and return to India. The result was 'vidyasubramanian.com', a digital teaching portal which offers Carnatic vocal classes over internet (Skype) / phone, catering to all levels of learners.

'The huge scope in the field of online teaching was an important factor', she explains. In addition to the website, Vidya also co-owns 'raagarasika.com', a series of free podcasts, with each episode covering a specific topic of interest such as a raaga, composition, composer, place, or a musical term.

So has her academic excellence helped in her musical career? 'Certainly. It is also the vice-versa', she says.'Communication skills which are essential in teaching, are enhanced with academic knowledge. It helps you to tackle issues which might crop up during online teaching, such as time lag and the like. A creative art form like carnatic music, requires a disciplined approach, which can be imbibed by studying for a strenuous course like chartered accountancy. Also, the soothing nature of music helps to relieve the stress associated with academics'.

'Every concert is a learning experience', asserts Vidya whose first concert was at the age of 12. 'It was at the Srinivasa Sastri Hall in Mylapore', she smiles. For each of her concert, she reads up about the composition, identifying its unique features and have it presented to the audience, a practice relatively new to Chennai rasikas. 'If we want the art form to reach out to a larger section, then musicians should share a good rapport with their audience. Sharing tidbits and answering their queries are small steps in that direction. One should remember that everyone is a rasika in their own right', she affirms.

Truly living up to the 'cultural capital' tag, Chennai is the only city which celebrates an event like the December music season, as a festival of sorts. 'It is only here that all the stakeholders: the musicians, audience and organisations have come together, to create a conducive platform for artistes. The December music season rejuvenates musicians. With the right kind of marketing and support, the festival can be made as an international event of global standards', she says.

Is networking essential to build a musician's profile? 'Connections might only provide you the initial recognition, but it is talent which will ultimately help to cement oneself in the industry. It is the responsibility of the sabhas to provide equal opportunities to everyone. There should be transparency in the selection process of the candidates, as followed by art organisations abroad. Rotation system can be put to practice and the websites of the sabhas should have clarity on whom/where to approach', she points out.

'We should be thankful to the older generation of singers for having inspired many to follow suit', adds Vidya whose personal favourite yesteryear singers, besides her legendary Guru, include M S Subbulakshmi, M L Vasantha Kumari, D K Pattamal and K V Narayanaswamy and Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer.



Students from All Over the World

Kalki Magazine, Dec 2012


Singing Interspersed with Explanations

Dinamani, Apr 2012


More Reviews and Interviews

"Melodious and Informative Concert", Star of Mysore, Nov 2012

"Pure Classical Music by Vidya Subramanian", Malayala Manorama, Nov 2012

"Rendered with bhakti", The Hindu, Aug 2012

"Paying heed to the rhythm", Deccan Herald, May 2012

"Tales of Raag, Bhav and Kriti", V. Harshita, CNN-IBN, Tue, May 22, 2012

"Poised with elegance", V. Nagaraj, The Hindu, Aug 2011

"Distant Melodies", Abimanyu Nagarajan, The Telegraph, Nov 2011

"Music Concert in Powai", Bhanu Kumar, Times of India, Oct 2011

"Open throated articulation", The Hindu, Jul 2010

"Carnatic music - an Eastern Classic", Phil Drew, The Troy Record, Jan 2010

"The Art of Sharing - Grants enable two Saratoga County musicians to showcase traditions", Tom Keyser, Albany Times Union, Jan 2010

"Ancient Voice", Sam Braden, Albany Times Union, Apr 2009

"Indian Concert offers insight into culture", Glenn Griffith, Saratoga Community News, Apr 2009

"Neatly Formatted", The Hindu, May 2007

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