Welcome to the website of
Padma Shri A.Kanyakumari
Kumari Avasarala. Kanyakumari is a top ranking Carnatic violinist, her experience spanning over 50 years, is popular not only as a soloist and as an accompanist but also as an innovator and organizer of Carnatic instrumental ensembles, always retaining the core values of classicism in her creativity. Her music strictly adheres to the traditional form of Carnatic music. The hallmark of her music is her playing style, which closely resembles vocal music. This is justified by the importance she gives to the sahitya, her bowing, the raga delineation, the krithi selection in each concert, her pakka vadya (accompanist’s) selection. Yet, she does have a touch of novelty in her performances even while retaining her traditional touch.
Born in Vijayanagaram, Andhra Pradesh, India, A. Kanyakumari belongs to a family of musicians. Her parents Sri Avasarala Ramarathnam and Smt. Jayalakshmi encouraged her immensely to pursue music. A.Kanyakumari considers herself fortunate to be a sishya (disciple) of three legendary gurus, Sri Ivaturi Vijayeshwar Rao, Sri M. Chandrashekaran, and Dr M.L.Vasanthakumari. She owes her music career to her Adiguru (First guru) Sri Ivaturi Vijayeshwar Rao. But for him, she says, she would never have made this far. Till date she emphasizes the importance of the lessons taught by him to her, to her students.
After moving to Chennai, A. Kanykumari pursued Banchelors in Karnatic Music in Queen Mary’s College, Chennai. It was during this time that she came under the tutelage of Sri M.Chandrashekaran under the Central Government Scholarship.
But the most memorable association of the artist is with her guru Sangeetha Kalanidhi Smt. M. L . Vasanthakumari. A. Kanyakumari has played accompaniment to this wizard of Karnatic Music for nearly 20 years. What started as a mere accident, moved to be a lifelong experience for the artist. M.L.V as she is popularly called has been more than a guru for A. Kanyakumari. The experiences and moments shared by them are innumerable, memorable and still cherished by the artist.
The Kanya Style..
As an Artist..
For a long time, A Kanyakumari was a ‘most sought after accompanist’. She accompanied the legendary vocalist M.L.Vasanthakumari for nearly two decades, besides many other top ranking artistes like Dr. Ramani, Dr. S .Kalyanaraman, O.S. Thyagarajan, Sikkil Sisters, Kadri Gopalnath etc. After establishing herself as a dynamic soloist. She joined Kadri Gopalnath in rallying many musicians to collect a fund of Rs. 6 lacs towards the ‘Kargil Relief Fund’.
As a Teacher..
As a novelty innovator, A Kanyakumari has a strong desire to introduce innovations into the common forms of stage music without compromising on traditional classicism.
A unique instrumental ensemble of the violin, nadawaram and veena or flute and percussion instruments- which has performed concerts throughout India and abroad and has been recorded by Music of the World Inc., a US based premier recording company and also by HMV.VadhyaLahari
An innovative programme having 3 violins played simultaneously in 3 different octaves which has been well received by the audience.Trishthaisangamam
An ensemble of 100 instruments. Instrumental ensembles- of 25, 50, 75 violins (since 1993) which are the most sought programs by various sabhas. She is the first female violinist to have led and conducted such programs of higher magnitudesShathavadya
She has led and conducted an ensemble of nearly 3800 instrumentalists during the Silver Jubliee celebrations of ‘The Art of Living’ of Sri SriSriRavishankarji.The Art of Living
Introducing Carnatic music in cricket. It consists of short tunes played on the violin for different aspects of the game. The sounds are very different – Carnatic ragas here and there laced with a western flavor. The music is catchy and captures the spirit of the moment. It has been appreciated by many people like T. M Krishna, Kadri Gopalnath, K.Balachandar, T.V.Shankaranarayanan, Unnikrishnan, etc…CricMusic
She is also the first female violinist to have given a non-stop marathon performance for 29 hours in 1988.Violin Marathon
She has composed a ragaMalika piece of 108 different ragas.108 Ragamalika
She has made VCDs with violin lessons which are first of its kind. This album consists of 3 VCDsViolin Lessons VCD
A unique concert relating the Legendary Musicians and their Music to the Pancha Bhootas.(2012)Panchabhootas
In 1997, to celebrate 50 years of independence, she created a new rata called “Bhaarath” and dedicated it to the nation.
Kum. Kanyakumari has created 7 new ragas, each named after one of the 7 holy hills of Tirumala. They are Venkatadri, Vrushabhadri, Garudadri, Narayanadri, Anjanadri, Neeladri and Sheshadri. She has composed a musical piece using these ragas. In addition she has set to tune 7 different Kritis of Annamacharya in each one of these ragas.
She has also created many individual ragas Gomatha,Trimurthi, Mahalakshmi, Ganga and Godavari. She has composed theme music for the Godavari Pushkaras 2015, a rare Phenomenon which occurs once 144 years and also has released an Audio- Visual DVD, which was done in the presence of the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri. N.ChandraBabu Naidu.New Ragams
01 Padma Shri from the Government of India (2015)
02 Sangeetha Natak Academy Award from the Government of India (2015)
03 AIR top rank artist
04 Limca Book of Records for the various achievements in music as a versatile woman violinist
05 India Book of Records for scoring BGM for cricket
06 Star of India from Wisom International Magazine
07 TTK award from the Music Academy, Chennai
08 Papa Venkatramaiah award from the Music Academy, Chennai
09 Senior Violinist Award from the Music Academy, Chennai
10 Ugadi Puraskar Award from Madars Telugu Academy.
11 Talented Guru in Guru Sishya series, Hamsadwani, Chennai.
12 Lifetime Achievement Award from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai Kendra
13 VIshwa Kala Puraskar from Vishwakala Sangama
Titles from Sabhas
01 Golden Violin presented Shanmukhananda Sabha, Mumbai
02 Asthana Vidushi of TTD, Udupi, Pejawar Mutt
03 Vayuleena Vidwanmani by His Holiness Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal
04 Vishwakala Bharathi from Bharat Kalachar, Chennai
05 Honarary Citizenship of the state Maryland US
06 Kalaimamani from Govt. of Tamilnadu
07 Sangeeta Kala Nipuna from Mylapore Fine Arts, Chennai
08 Vani Kala Sudakara from Vani Mahal, Chennai
09 Dhanurveena Vadhini , by music stalwart Smt. M.S. Subbulakshmi for Sarvani Sangeetha Sabha
10 Saptagiri Sangeetha Vidwanmani by Sri Thyagaraja Festival committee, Tirupathi.
11 Sangeetha Choodamani Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai.
12 Nada Kalanidhi by Sree Shanmukhananda Sangeethasabha, New Delhi
13 Sangeetha Saraswati by South Indian Cultural Association, Hyderabad.
14 Isai Alwar From the Organisers of Chennaiyil Thiruvaiyaru.
What they say..
Veteran Mridangist, vocalist and composer
Guru and Violin Vidwan
Secretary, Narada Gana Sabha
Cine Playback Singer
Director, Kalashetra Foundation