Nirmala Rajasekar is a world renowned Carnatic veena virtuoso and educator of South Indian Music. She has performed in venues throughout the world and is a recipient of many awards including a Bush artistic fellowship, a McKnight fellowship, Rotary Vocational Excellence award and Best Senior Veena Artiste.  She is known for her talents in exploring South Indian Classical (Carnatic) to create collaborative projects with other music traditions including western classical and jazz. 
 
The press has often described her as a "Carnatic Ambassador", as she has introduced Carnatic Music to many other art forms of the world.
  • November 2016
    Hello everyone, Hope you have all had a good 2016. Thanksgiving has just passed- I have much to be thankful for! Outside the rain falls on the grass and the air gets colder reminding me of winter in Minnesota and my upcoming journey to warmer climes. This year has seen so much already -with 'Maithree'   my new CD getting more shape and form at Wild Sound Studios with the addition of friends of the veena -  mridangam, ghatam, cello, clarinet, saxaphone, oud, guitar,djembe, bongos and more. Being part of friend Siama Matuzungidi's 'Rivers' and then getting to create my first album of collaboration 'Maithree -the Music of Friendship ' in early summer; travelling to Chennai to perform at Thanjavur Upendran Mama's Remembrance day event; visiting Chidambaram and fulfilling a lifelong dream of visiting the Cosmic Dancer Natraja in His Special Abode there, teaching at the haloed campus of the Tamil Nadu Fine arts University where my own gurus had served for many years (my Gratitude to Vice Chancellor Smt.E.Gayathri); performing in Mysore after many years in two special concerts with wonderful co-artists, celebrating Sri Raghavendra Swamy Aradhana in Chennai and Hanumanthapuram again in the company of fantastic co-artists, having an special concert at  Sacred Seven Hills Tirumala Nada Neerajanam supported by another team of top notch performers ; Returning to the US and presenting 'Song of Wonder' with collaborator David Harris at two special concerts including at the historic Sheldon Theater Red Wing; a special concert with Vidwan Thanjavur Murugaboopathi and Vidwan Ghatam Karthick at Winona State University and University of Wisconsin River Falls; presenting another avatar of Maithree at Stevens Point Wisconsin for the festival of India annual event. It has been a busy and fulfilling year and I look ahead to spending December and January in India performing at the Winter music Festival there taking in the sights and sounds of it all with my daughter Shruthi (who will join me from England) along with my parents,sister and family. I look forward to seeing many of you on this leg of the trip and wish you all a wonderful healthy joyful Holiday Season ahead! Take care!
    Posted Nov 29, 2016, 2:01 PM by Nirmala Rajasekar
  • April 2016
    Thank you to all of you for your love and affection , for letting me know that you are with me on my journey via this blog. December , January and the first 10 days in February were spent in Chennai--It been been quite the experience. I never expected to be part of the relief efforts in such an involved manner. I believe my being in Chennai for this duration was definitely for many other reasons in addition to participating in the Season -personal and professional. Once again I am grateful to Him. Back in the USA the year has begun with a short tour and concerts at the Laurie Porter concert series in Carleton College Northfield MN, Otterbein University and Dhvani Columbus Ohio and the Hindu Temple in Dayton Ohio with the the wonderful team of Shri VVS Murari, Shri Thanjavur Murugaboopathi and Shri Ravi Balasubramanyam in February and early march. Song of Wonder (with David Harris, Boopathi Anna, young Naadha Rasa performers Sowmya Murthy and Priya and the Voices of Sepharad ensemble) continued its run with performances at Concordia Moorhead University and the Rochester Civic Theater-- Come November this show will be presented at the historic Sheldon Theater in Red Wing MN. March end took me to this years Aradhana at Cleveland State University. I never cease to wonder at the energy of the amazing people who have put their hearts and passions into running this awesome 10 day event year after year.. now for 39 years. It was an honor to perform as part of this event in the company of esteemed artists Shri Raghavendra Rao, Thanjavur Murugaboopathi and Shri Guruprasad in the presence of some of the finest practitioners and followers of this glorious art. Princeton University's Swara inaugurated its performing season with the a Jugal Bandhi concert with Pandit Ronu  Majumdar on the bansuri and yours truly on the veena with Vidwan Thanjavur Murugaboopathi and Shri Samir Chatterjee. It was wonderful evening resonating with sounds of the beautiful Indian instruments in the haloed campus of this great University- Happy to be part of this...Arriving back in Minneapolis thanks to planes and delays went straight from the airport to the gorgeous Basilica of St.Mary the venue of MCTC's Spirit and Soul event. What a gratifying feeling to be in the Church built inn 1871 where the entire atmosphere is reminiscent of ancient times. Coming up in April and May performances in Dallas TX, Green Bay WI and (Maithree a new collaboration) SV Temple Edina MN, a new album in the making....Stay tuned!  Stay healthy!  Stay happy! Take care
    Posted Apr 12, 2016, 1:14 PM by Nirmala Rajasekar
  • December 2015 ..with love from Namma Singara Chennai
    8 months since the last time I wrote here. First time for many things..First time reporting from Chennai First experience of a deluge here in the city of my birth. -- in awe at Nature and her immense capacity to bring the unexpected..
    Rewinding back to summer 2015..Intense workshops, travel to India for the national program of music and Sangeet Samraat in Bangalore and Chennai..into Fall 2015 .Sounds of the Ancient tour with the wonderful Bansuri wizard Pandit RonuMajumdar with Mridangam master Shri Thanjavur Murugaboopathi and Shri Ajeet Pathak from Bombay on Tabla. A lovely experience. Thank you hosting organizations' hosts and the wonderful artists who were with me ...all brought together for my first tour with Minnesota's own Layyasaaram Institute for the Arts. Sangeet Samraat in Minnesota, Song of Wonder MSAB Arts Tour with David Harris and Voices of Sepherad in St.Peter and Northfield, Summer Rain with Zeitgeist in Grand Marais and Duluth..November also saw Sublime Journey sitar/veena concert  to Bahrain and Carnatica's Bharat Sangeet Utsav in Coimbatore, a solo in Dubai. Beginning the season with Parivaadhini and LayaMadhura..before the deluge descended in a big way..Humbling experience being involved in relief efforts in Chennai..Hailing the Spirit of the artist and organizations who are continuing with the music Season with a few schedule adjustments. feeling blessed to have music be part of my life. Chennaites prayers for you all ---Take care !!!
    Posted Apr 12, 2016, 12:43 PM by Nirmala Rajasekar
  • April 2015 (Almost May!)

    Spring time again--Time to enjoy the blessing of good weather and new beginnings. The past few months have seen a trip South Dakota and the National Music Museum in February -A thrilling and unique experience to be among some of the most ancient instruments and traditions of the world-- one to cherish always. Concerts in town at the Hosmer Library, classes and workshops, new work creation ---all in all a whirlwind of blessings and music. Onto a new work May 2 Maithree music of friendship --a first ever production, a good amount of travel to Rochester May 6 ,May 9 and then the East Coast May 21 to June 6. Performance at Camp Masala, Summer workshops more travel on the cards..Stay healthy and happy you all --So long until the next time :)

    Posted Apr 27, 2015, 5:27 AM by Nirmala Rajasekar
  • December 2014

    Its been six months since my last post and I am surprised ..again!!Where has the time gone ? Looking back -from a trip to India to Kumbakonam in the intense heat of the summer months of July and August for performances at the Wallajahpet  Venkatramana Bhagavadhar Festival,recording for television channel 'Podigai', performing in  'Serene' Coimbatore, a trip up the  Blue Mountains 'Nilgiris' with my children Neeraj and Shruthi and my parents to the picturesque Coonoor and Ooty; visiting my dear guru Sri Sitarama Sarma Sir-- Shruthi studying with him --all bringing back memories of my own classes with him feeling excited and then all at once realizing that for sure time has flown by  :) Wow!  to admiring Subramanya Bharathi at Winona State University in September , to Navarathri and the celebrating of Sri Saraswathi, performing back to back performances at the Vedanta Society in Kansas and the Hindu Temple there in October, to moving onto an entirely new genre of music in November with our expressions in 'Summer Rain' with the wonderful musicians of Zeitgeist and the fantastic Shri Thanjavur Murugaboopathi from India, the Song of Wonder concert with David Harris and the Voices of Sepharad and wrapping up the month with presentations of' Melodies and Rhythms - the Art of Improvisation in Carnatic Music ' at St Cloud Minnesota and Minnetonka Minnesota supported by the Minnesota State Arts Board's FATA. Now bags packed and ready to travel to the world famous Music Festival in Chennai, India. Happy Holidays ! Enjoy the season all its colors and this lovely world we live in. My best wishes always - Until the next time take care-

    Posted Apr 27, 2015, 5:27 AM by Nirmala Rajasekar
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