Musical Performance: Alwan Festival of Sacred Music presents Roopa Mahadevan: Devotional Music of South India

Sat, March 5, 2011 9:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

(View all musical performances »)

Roopa Mahadevan - vocals
Arun Ramamurthy
- violin
Trivandrum Balaji
- mridangam
Sriram Ramesh
- khanjira

Carnatic music is believed to have evolved over the last 4,000 years and is based on ragas (arias in a melodic scale) and talas (rhythmic cycles). Its rhythmic intricacy captivates first-time listeners, as does its spiritual tradition of improvisation. Don't miss the captivating voice of carnatic singer Roopa Mahadevan in her Alwan debut, a sound that encapsulates this spiritual music of South India.


Regular: $20, available online here.
Student/Senior/Member: $15, available online here.

A small surcharge is applied to each online ticket; use printout as your proof of purchase; Student and member IDs will be check at the door. Tickets are also available at the door. Doors open at 8:30 p.m.

Alwan's Festival of Sacred Music is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Sparkplug Foundation

About the Artists:

ROOPA MAHADEVAN is a bright, young Carnatic vocalist. Born and raised in San Jose, California, Roopa underwent her formative training under Smt. Asha Ramesh, disciple of the late Sangeetha Kalanidhi D.K. Jayaraman and Sri Nanganallur Ramanathan. In 2007, Roopa was awarded the highly-regarded Fulbright Scholarship by the U.S. State Department to receive advanced training in Chennai, India under Smt. Suguna Varadachari, a senior vidushi and respected teacher of the Musiri Subramania Iyer tradition. Roopa has been a regular performer in the major sabhas during Chennai December season for the past five years, and has received praise from the Carnatic music fraternity and notable press, including The Hindu, Indian Express, Times of India, The Week, and more. She has performed full-length concerts in several venues in India and North America, including the well-known Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana, where she has been awarded the first prize for raga alapana and krithi rendition in their annual competition in years past. In 2010, Roopa was honored with the title "Kala Ratna" by the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana, for her commitment to the pursuit of Carnatic music as a young American. Roopa is also an accomplished Bharathanatyam dancer who has done her arangetram and performed in India and Europe under the training of Smt. Indumathy Ganesh, disciple of Padmashri Smt. Chitra Visweswaran.Roopa is additionally adept at singing for Bharathanatyam productions; she has sung for such dance artists as Bragha Bessel, Mythili Prakash, Abhinaya Dance Company, and Shakti Dance Company, among others. Roopa also enjoys performing R&B/soul music, and has lent her voice to several contemporary art projects such as an Indian folk ensemble curated by Chennai’s Prakriti Foundation, the Guadalajara International Book Fair, and two urban/R&B music albums "Lovespeak" and "Bring Back the Nyte." She provided lead female vocals for the track "Sukle Krsna" on the album Calling All Dawns, which recently won a Grammy for "Best Classical Crossover Album." Roopa received her Bachelor's and Master's degree from Stanford University and currently works in the public health policy field while simultaneously pursuig her artistic career.

Listen to Roopa Mahadevan here.

ARUN RAMAMURTHY is an exciting violinist who is making his mark in Indian Classical music in the United States. He began his violin training under the distinguished Anantha Krishnan, a widely respected musician from Kolkata. Arun then got the good fortune to be taken as a pupil by the celebrated violinist brothers, Sri Mysore Nagaraj and Dr. Mysore Manjunath who gave him rigorous advanced training in gurukula fashion. Arun progressed quickly under Dr. Manjunath and started accompanying major Indian artists such as Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna,T.V. Gopalakrishna, Flute Shashank, and many more. Recently, Arun joined his guru Dr. Manjunath in a violin duet concert tour of the East Coast. He has also recently released his debut CD "Geethanjanli", which features renowned percussionists, T. Bakthavatsalam and Ghatam Giridhar Udupa. His music has led him to perform at prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, Le Poisson Rouge NYC, Maris Music Festival in Chennai, Walker Arts Center Minneapolis, Gracie Mansion and others. Arun has performed with artists from various genres of music including jazz pianist Marc Cary, percussionist Sameer Gupta, Ragamala Dance Company and Cudamani Gamelan, indie rock singer April Smith, among others. Arun is curating a monthly Carnatic music night, "Carnatic Sundays" at Corneila Street Cafe, one of NYC's top jazz venues. Arun actively teaches Carnatic music to students in NYC and NJ. His passion for sharing India's music has led him to teach for Carnegie Hall's Global Encounters, a program bringing music of different cultures to high schools throughout New York City.

is a leading mridangam artist in South India. Tivandrum.V.Balaji commands high respect for his dexterity in technique and his command over the underlying intricacies of Rhythm (Laya).H is Mridangam artistry is embellished by the virtues that stem from temperament, poise and fine musical awareness. Balaji had his initial training under late Sri B. Doraiswamy of Trivandrum, Sri K.Krishna Iyengar of Trivandrum and Trivandrum Sri R. Vaidyanathan and later came under the tutelage of the legendary Vidwan Padmasri Sangeetha Kalanidhi Palghat Sri R. Raghu. He has the privilege of accompanying various leading Carnatic musicians like, Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr. Sri N.Ramani, Sangitha Kalandhi Sri T.V.Sakaranarayanan, Sri.O.S.Thiagarajan and others. He is presently an ‘A’ Grade artist in The All India Radio, Chennai. Apart from accompanying Carnatic artists, he is also a much sought-after Mridangist in the Cinema Industry and has worked with famous music directors like Mr. Vidyasagar, Mr. Deva, Mr. Haris Jayaraj and others. He has won numerous awards and titles from prestigious arts organizations, including the Sangeet Natak Academy, Music Academy, Kanchi Kamakoti mata, Krishna Gana Sabha, among others. At present, Balaji is training many mridangam students in India, the USA, and Australia.

is a talented kanjira player based in Massachusetts. He learned mridangam from Sri Vaikom R Gopalakrishnan and drum percussion from Sri Suresh. He is currently undergoing khanjira training under Maestro Bangalore Shri N.Amrit, disciple of the great G. Harishankar. He has been performing on the khanjira, drums, rhythm pads, and morsing (jewish harp) with various leading Carnatic artists such as Kunnakudi Balamuralikrishna, Shashikiran, Rajesh Vaidya, Flute Balasai and Athul Kumar, Mandolin Srinivas, keyboard prodigy Sathyanarayana, and the Heartbeat ensemble, He has also been a part of the music ensemble for several dance performances of the Bharathanatyam dancer Padmashri Dr. Padma Subramanyam. He received a masters in Electical Engineering from New York and currently works in Massachusetts.

Last updated: 2011-02-28 23:43:21

Roopa Mahadevan
Roopa Mahadevan
Trivandrum Balaji
Trivandrum Balaji
Arun Ramamurthy
Arun Ramamurthy
Sriram Ramesh
Sriram Ramesh

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