Internationally acclaimed Violin Maestros Dr. M. LALITHA and M. NANDINI have been widely applauded as the `QUEENS OF VIOLIN’ - Weekend of the present generation. Popularly known as the `VIOLIN SISTERS', these outstanding musicians have enthralled the audiences with their spell binding music and have been acclaimed as the “ONLY FEMALE DUO IN ASIA to perform the World music, South Indian Classical, Fusion and Western Classical music” - Le Mauricien.
Hailing from an illustrious family of musicians, Lalitha and Nandini have the privilege of being the fourth generation of musicians in their family. To quote the renowned music critic Subbudu “`Music runs in their blood, they must have played music even when they were in their mother’s womb. ” Lalitha and Nandini are the torch bearers of a unique musical tradition but yet have evolved a distinct style of their own.
Their musical genius manifested at the tender age of three and has blossomed into a top notch violinist of Today. With a career extending over two decades LALITHA and NANDINI are regarded as highly imaginative virtuoso Violinists with immaculate bowing along with dexterous fingering techniques. They have been endowed with a sweet and rich tone, which along with their innate artistry and technical brilliance makes their music unique. There is a rare spirituality about their music which soaked in bhakti bhava has endowed their music with a transcendental quality. Their rare musical insight combined with their innate artistry, technical brilliance and original creativity, has enraptured their critics and connoisseurs alike. The music that cascades from the Duo's Violin's is known to be sublime, brilliant, traditional and celestial. Though much sought after violinists of today, their firm adherence to tradition or sampradaya suddham and patantara suddham adds credit to their style of performance. With their irresistible urge for perfection they have revolutionized the violin playing technique to great heights.
Their music is envisioned by the sisters as an offering to the divine, which in their musical vogage is a sole endeavor to alleviate the soul which results in an rare aesthetic and emotional musical quality. They enrapture their audience with imaginative improvisations and intricate rhythmic patterns fused with melodic sweetness. Couched in deep classicism, melody, creativity they have set a new standard for violinists. They have specialized in playing varnam-s in different grades of tempo and in playing Kalpana Svara-s in many grades of speed, which is a prominent and unique feature of their style of Violin playing.
As Cultural ambassadors of India’s rich musical heritage, Lalitha and Nandini have traversed the four corners of the globe - spreading the message of global harmony through music. They have performed extensively in Major Music Festivals in India and in other countries including USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Norway, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Australia, Nepal, United Kingdom, Middle East, South Africa, Mauritius, New Zealand, Europe, Srilanka, Abhudhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Sharjah. They are empanelled artistes of the ICCR.
PERFORMANCES AT MAJOR FESTIVALS AND THEATERS / HALLS
LALITHA and NANDINI have performed widely for PRESTIGIOUS MUSIC FESTIVALS in Music theaters / halls all over the globe.
PERFORMANCES IN RADIO AND TV NETWORKS
LALITHA and NANDINI have performed in several Radio and TV networks to their credit such as
ALL INDIA RADIO - India
BBC - Britain, UK
APT TV - India, Malaysia
ASIANET - India
ASTRO VANAVIL - Malaysia
DAN TV - Srilanka
DEEPAM TV - Europe
DOORDARSHAN - India
DUTCH RADIO - Denmark
E TV - India
GEC - India
GEMINI TV - India
JAYA TV - India
K TV - India
KAIRALI - India
MUSIC ASIA - India
NDTV - India
NILA TV - India
NRK - Norway
PODIGAI - India
RAJ DIGITAL PLUS - India
RAJ - India
RUPAVAHINI - Srilanka
SAHARA - India
SBC - Singapore
SLBC - Srilanka
SS MUSIC - India
STAR NEWS - India
STAR VIJAY - India
SUN - India
SURYA TV - India
TELEVISION NETWORK - USA
TEJA TV - India
UDAYA - India
VIJAY - India
WIN TV - India
ZEE TV - India
SABC - South Africa
TV - Mauritius
Radio Sydney - Australia
Radio New Zealand - New Zealand
TV - Malaysia
Radio France - France
Radio Germany - Germany
LALITHA and NANDINI had the honour of presenting a special music program for the 50th year Golden Jubilee celebrations of India's Independence for the Doordarshan (DD) television network for which LALITHA and NANDINI scored the music, performed and orchestrated the patriotic songs of various composers.
LALITHA and NANDINI presented a special program for Tamil New Years Day where they performed Tamil Compositions of different composers along with orchestration. The music was composed and orchestrated by Dr. M. Lalitha and M. Nandini.
LALITHA and NANDINI presented a unique thematic program of compositions apt for instruments in South Indian Classical Music.
LALITHA and NANDINI have presented exclusive concerts on the compositions of Saint Tyagaraja, Muthuswamy Diksitar, Syama Sastri, Swati Tirunal, Othukadu Venkatasubbaiyer.
LALITHA and NANDINI have also presented concerts along with the Tavil and Ghatam which rates them as the pioneers in having this accompanying instruments.
LALITHA and NANDINI presented a special thematic program of Goddess Devi compositions for Navarathri Festival which was telecast on the RAJ TV.
LALITHA and NANDINI have presented exclusive concerts on the compositions of Saint Raghavendraswamy by various composers.
LALITHA and NANDINI presented a unique Trans Global Fusion Music on Diwali Day for the SUN TV where different styles of music were presented.
LALITHA and NANDINI have presented special concerts on the compositions of Saint Purandaradasar and other Dasars.
LALITHA and NANDINI performed a unique concert of three sections in the Royal Nepal Academy where they played the South Indian Classical music, the semi classical section and their trans global fusion.
LALITHA and NANDINI performed a special concert on the Ganges (on a floating stage) and at Tiruvannamalai on the occasion of Mahasivarathri where they rendered compositions exclusively on Lord Siva, Goddess Shakti and Mother Ganges.
LALITHA and NANDINI gave an exclusive concert on the Compositions of Saint Tyagaraja having `References to Music’, in Chennai.
LALITHA and NANDINI are highly proficient in Western Classical Music and World Music, ethnomusicology and Trans Global fusion music. They have specialized in the different traditions of world music like the Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian music (Gamelan), African music and drumming, Middle Eastern including the Turkish, Iranian, Persian, Egyptian, Jazz, Latin American, Brazilian, Spanish, Blues, Folk traditions to name a few.
The talented Violin duo sisters apart from performing Violin duets have also collaborated with musicians representing different genres of music including their Uncle and Guru Legendary Violinist Dr. L. Shenkar – Double violin, Ustad Shahid Parvez, George Brooks, Miguel Chachowski, Carl Rathus, Fazal Qureshi, Pirpauke – Finnish band, Sameer Chaterji, Boschbela String Orchestra, SA, Tiruvalaputhur T. A. Kaliyamurthy, Tirupungur Muthukumaraswamy, Ronu Majumdar, Tarun Bhattacharya, Mannargudi Vasudevan, Abhijeeth Banerjee, Purbhayan Chaterjee, Quatre Bonne String Orchestra, Mauritius, Jazz Musician Reisa, Gaurav Majumdar, Tenor Boys to name a few.
WESTERN CLASSICAL MUSIC
LALITHA and NANDINI have also learnt Western Classical Music and have passed the final grade (8th grade) examinations conducted by the Trinity college of Music, London in Western Classical Music in Violin. They have also learnt the Theory of Western Classical Music. They are acclaimed as the `ONLY FEMALE VIOLIN DUO’ in INDIA to know both the systems of music - the Western Classical and the South Indian Classical Music.
SOUTH INDIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC (VOCAL)
LALITHA and NANDINI were initially trained in vocal under their grand father Shri. V. Lakshminarayana and now they are under the tutelage of their mother Mrs. Subhalakshmi Muthuswamy in South Indian Classical Vocal Music. They have also undergone advanced vocal training from the doyen of carnatic music `Padma Vibhushan' Dr. Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer. They are undergoing specialized training in the compositions of Muthuswamy Diksitar from Mrs. Ramani.
Dr. M. LALITHA and M. NANDINI have also forayed into the realms of composition writing. Their Trans Global Fusion concerts consist of their compositions, which portray global styles and colours of music which bears ample testimony to their skills. They have done music and experimented with different media including theatres, opera, dance, film, dramas, short film, dance drama, orchestra, tele film, and dance dramas.
TRANS GLOBAL FUSION CONCERTS
Dr. M. LALITHA and M. NANDINI have been widely acclaimed as outstanding `VIOLIN VIRTUOSO’S and QUEEN’S OF FUSION MUSIC’. They have presenting a lot of Trans Global fusion concerts in India and in abroad, which has been receiving rave reviews. Lalitha and Nandini presented a special Trans Global fusion where Lalitha and Nandini composed and arranged the music. This has been released as an album `LALITHA, NANDINI’S REVELATION’ through the Dreams Audio and is in the `Top 10’ Rating in India.
Lalitha and Nandini’s latest fusion album `THINKING OF U’ has been released recently and has already hit the chart in the `Number 1’ position for many weeks.
They presented their Trans Global Fusion concert for the prestigious SAARANG 2002, the famous cultural fest of IIT, Chennai.
They performed the Trans Global Fusion for the finale of `Soundz of Musique’ for the GOLDEN JUBLIEE Celebrations of the ALLIANCE FRANCAISE de Madras.
They performed the Trans Global Fusion for the inauguration of the Bangalore IT.Com which was well received and attended by several delegates from all over the world including the IT Minister of State Shri. Inamdar.
Lalitha and Nandini performed the Trans Global Fusion for the Silver Jubliee Valedictory celebrations of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s Rajaji Vidyashram.
They performed for an audience of 10,000 for the freedom Jam on August 15th in Bangalore.
Lalitha and Nandini performed the Trans Global Fusion `REVELATIONS’ for the 20th Anniversary Celebrations of the Orient Express Lines in Singapore for a global audience.
Lalitha and Nandini performed with a Finnish band `Pirpauke’ recently in Bangalore and Chennai which was a charity show for the victims of Tsunami.
They performed for the `Atmarisha’ of the PESIT college, Bangalore for a spell bound crowd of 20,000.
Recently they performed for the Bangalore. It. In at the Palace grounds which was well attended by delegates from all over the world including the Trade Commissioner of London and the Minister of IT, Ghana.
Performed Indo – Japanese Fusion concert for the Golden Jubliee Celebrations of Sri Ramachandra Medical College.
Performance for the Sastiabhdapoorthi celebrations of Superstar Sri Rajinikanth.
Performance at the Inauguration of The International Film Festival with special narration by Smt. Suhasini Maniratnam.
Performance at the Chennai Global Music festival with Legendary Saxophonist George Brooks, USA.
Performance with Miguel Chachowski, Flamenco Guitarist from Poland at Codissia Amphi Theatre, Kovai and for Radio One Group at Music Academy, Chennai.
DR. M. LALITHA AND M. NANDINI’S TWIN CONCERTS
The talented sisters Dr. M. Lalitha and M. Nandini are also presenting unique TWIN CONCERT combining both the SOUTH INDIAN CLASSICAL and TRANS GLOBAL FUSION MUSIC. They gave this special concert for the IIT, Chennai and for many World Conferences in India and abroad. They presented the TWIN CONCERT for the inaugural concert of SAARANG 2002, the prestigious cultural fest of IIT, Chennai.
The Violin sisters performed both classical and Trans Global Fusion Music at the Royal Nepal Academy which was well attended by several delegates including the Ambassador of India in Nepal Mr. Shyam Sharan and the Nepalese Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Mr. Kuber Sharma.
Lalitha and Nandini presented the twin concert for the DRDL and RCI – Hyderabad, Ministry of Defence for their National workshop.
Lalitha and Nandini presented their twin concert for the World Conference of COMPAS in Chennai for a global audience.
Lalitha and Nandini performed a charity concert with a Finnish band `Pirpauke’ in Bangalore for the victims of Tsunami.
To raise funds for the victims of Tsunami Lalitha and Nandini performed a charity concert and presented their trans global fusion in Chennai.
Lalitha and Nandini performed a fund raising concert for a temple building in London.
Dr. M. LALITHA and M. NANDINI have also forayed into the realms of composition. They are acclaimed as the `ONLY FEMALE COMPOSERS IN ASIA IN FUSION’. Their Trans Global Fusion concerts consist of their compositions, which portray global styles and colours of music.
Lalitha and Nandini have scored music for French and Norwegian Theatre productions.
They have also composed music exclusively for Dance Ballets.
The versatile Violin sisters are also Music Directors having done the Music Direction for `KAAICHA MARAM’ a short film directed by the famous Actress cum Director Mrs. Suhasini Maniratnam produced by the famous Madras Talkies.
The sisters have scored the music for another documentary film based on a true life story.
The sisters scored the background music for the documentary on Mrs. Y. G. Parthasarathy as part of her 80th birthday celebrations.
The Violin duo has composed the music for a teleserial in UK.
LALITHA and NANDINI have performed in several Radio and TV networks and have been featured by many recording companies like AVM Audio, HMV, Music Today, Pan Music, RPG, Sony, Kosmic, Dreams Audio, EL. V. Audio, Gitaa, Prashanti Nilayam (live), Raj Video Vision, Sangeetha, Santhananda Sounscapes, Saragam to name a few.
M. LALITHA has been awarded the degree of DOCTOR of PHILOSOPHY (Ph. D) in Indian Music, from the University of Madras for her thesis `A Comparative Study of the Violin Techniques in Western and South Indian Classical Music’
M. NANDINI holds Triple Master's Degree - one in Information Science from the University of Madras - one in Indian Music from the Mother Teresa’s Women’s University, Kodaikanal and one in ETHNOMUSICOLOGY from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of LONDON.
Both of them have published books and written numerous articles relating to Music and religion.
A multi talented duo, well versed in foreign languages including French and German their other interests include painting, Tanjore Painting, Fashion designing, social service, writing poems, photography, Yoga, Reiki and meditation.
Dr. M. LALITHA and M. NANDINI have distinguished themselves academically also.
LALITHA has been awarded the degree of DOCTOR of PHILOSOPHY (Ph. D) in Indian Music, from the University of Madras for her thesis `A Comparative Study of the Violin Techniques in Western and South Indian Classical Music.
LALITHA also holds a M. Phil. degree (Master of Philosophy) in Indian Music from the University of Madras.
LALITHA holds a Master's Degree (M A) in Indian Music.
LALITHA’S thesis has been published as a book `Violin Techniques in Western and South Indian Classical Music – A Comparative Study’, New Delhi, 2004.
LALITHA is a Research Scholar and has been awarded the Research Fellowship (JRF) by the University Grants Commission (UGC) of the Govt. of India.
LALITHA worked as a Guest Lecturer in
Department of Indian Music, University of Madras,
Department of Music, Institute of Distance Education – University of Madras and Queen Mary’s College, Chennai.
She has taken classes for the B.A, M.A, B. Music, M. Music and M. Phil students.
She was also a guest faculty for the Department of Music, Mother Teresa’s Women’s University, Kodaikanal where she took classes for the M. Phil students.
Dr. M. LALITHA has taken lectures to the students of the University of Pittsburgh, USA, University of IOWA, University of Florida.
LALITHA served as a Co-ordinator for Music, institute of Correspondence Education, University of Madras.
LALITHA is a Rank holder in B A., M A., and M Phil., and has received several awards and prizes for her academic achievements.
LALITHA served as the Secretary and Representative of the Department of French, Queen Mary's College.
LALITHA holds a Pre-Diplome in French from the Alliance Francaise de Madras.
LALITHA has been a guide cum supervisor for M. Music projects of the Department of Music, Institute of Distance Education, University of Madras and M. Phil thesis of the Department of Music, Mother Teresa’s Women’s University, Kodaikanal.
LALITHA is the Director of the Muthuswamy – Subbulakshmi - MS Academy of Global Music.
Presented many papers on music. "Analysis of the Varnam Kalyani and abstraction of the Violin techniques", seminar for Ph.D. Research scholars, Dept of Indian Music, University of Madras. Assisted Prof. Dr. N. Ramanathan, Department of Indian Music, University of Madras to present a paper at the symposium organised as part of the birth centenary celebrations of late violinist Mysore T. Chowdiah. Topic - The 7 stringed Violin: its advantages and disadvantages.
Provided a transliteration from the Oriental Manuscripts in Staff Notation by A.M. Chinnaswami Mudaliyar for a presentation on "Nandanar Caritram" for the Music Academy, Chennai.
Compared the Violin Techniques in Eastern and Western music, Chennai.
Compared the raga-s in film music & South Indian Classical Music-Chennai.
LALITHA has been an examiner for the Practical examinations of the Department of Music & IDE, University of Madras, Queen Mary’s College, Chennai and Mother Teresa’s Women’s University, Kodiakanal.
She has also been the Examiner for the M Phil thesis for the IDE, Mother Teresa’s Women’s University.
She also set the question paper for the internals for the students of world music, University of Pittsburgh, USA.
NANDINI holds a Master's Degree in Information Science from the University of Madras.
NANDINI also holds a Master’s degree in Indian Music from the Mother Teresa’s Women’s University, Kodiakanal.
NANDINI holds a Bachelor's Degree in English literature.
NANDINI also holds a Bachelor's Degree in Indian Music.
NANDINI is working towards her Masters in Ethnomusicology from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
NANDINI is credited as being the `FIRST INDIAN’ to do MUSIC in SOAS.
NANDINI is working for her Ph D from the University of Madras.
NANDINI has been awarded the TAMILNADU JUNIOR RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP from the University of Madras.
NANDINI is a rank holder in B. A. as well as in M. Sc. and has received several awards and prizes for her academic achievements. She has secured the First Rank in English and the Tmt. Gayathri Devi Memorial Prize for French from the Queen Mary’s College.
She has served as the Secretary and Representative of the Department of French, Queen Mary’s College, Madras.
NANDINI has passed Grundstufe in German from the Max Mueller Bhavan, Madras.
NANDINI has been a visiting lecturer in the Department of Music, Institute of Distance Education, University of Madras and has taken classes for the students of music. She has also taken classes for the students of the University of Madras (regular).
Nandini is teaching music to aspiring students of music in TWAN in London.
NANDINI has been an examiner for the Practical examinations of the Department of Music & Institute of Distance Education, University of Madras and Queen Mary’s College, Chennai.
LALITHA and NANDINI have contributed many articles relating to music to many magazines, journals and web sites and have also reviewed books.
Articles written include,
1) V. Lakshminarayana – a legendary Vocalist, Violinist, Musicologist, Teacher
2) Tiruvaiyaru Kshetra kriti-s of Saint Tyagaraja
3) Raga Kalyani- A Study
4) Poet Subramanya Bharati
5) Raga Hamsanadam – A Study
6) Raga Shankarabharanam – A Study
7) Saint Tyagaraja and his musical compositions
8) Raga Mayamalavagaula – A Study
9) A Comparative Study of Muthuswami Diksitar’s Navagraha Kriti `Ankaragamaasrayamyakam’ with Gustav Holst’s Orchestral Suite `The Planets’- Mars.
10) Comparison of the compositions from film music and South Indian Classical Music belonging to the same raga-s.
11) Group kriti-s of Saint Tyagaraja.
12) Group kriti-s of Muthuswami Diksitar.
13) Group kriti-s of Syama Sastri.
14) Group kriti-s of Purandaradasa.
15) Group kriti-s of Svati Tirunal.
16) Group kriti-s of Othukadu Venkatasubbaiyer – Kamakshi Navavarnam-s.
17) Group kriti-s of Neelakanta Sivan.
18) Group kriti-s of Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar.
19) Group kriti-s of Ponniah Pillai.
20) Group kriti-s of V. Ramiah – Bhuvaneswari Navavarnam-s.
21) Group kriti-s of Koteswara Iyer – Pancharatna kriti-s.
22) Compositions of Ganam- A Study
23) Kriti-s of Svati Tirunal on Lord Shiva
24) Musical Compositions on Sathguru
25) Siva Kshetra kriti-s of Svati Tirunal – A Study
26) Guruguha Vibhakti Kriti-s on Guru
25) A Compilation about the Temples and shrines of goddess Bhuvaneswari all over the world
27) Elementary aspects relating to right-hand techniques in South Indian Classical music
28) Right-hand techniques in South Indian Classical music
29) The different types of bowing in the South Indian Classical music.
30) Violin playing techniques Svara-vil and Sahitya-vil in South Indian Classical music
31) Violin techniques in Western Classical music
32) Violin techniques in Eastern and Western music.
33) Shri Judge Swamigal, Shri Swayam Prakasa Swamigal and Shri Shantananda Swamigal - Saints of the Dattatreya Parampara.
34) Compilation of the construction and playing techniques of the following membrophones or Percussion instruments or the Avanaddha Vadyas.
6. Pancha Mukha Vadyam
7. Nagara *1
8. Nagara *2
9. Glass Dholak
10. Chandra Pirai
11. Surya Pirai
12. Daff and Tammate
15. Hudukka (Udukkai)
35) Compilation of the construction and playing techniques of the following idiophones or Solid instruments or the Ghana Vadyas.
36) Compilation of the construction and playing techniques of the following Chordophones or the Stringed instruments or the Tata Vadyas.
5. Balasaraswati or Mayuri
7. Yazh and its varieties
12. Maha Vina
13. Katyayana Vina
14. Vichitra Vina
18. Vina-Mysore Variety
21. Agappai Kinnari
37) Compilation of the construction and playing techniques of the following Aerophones or the Wind instruments or the Sushira Vadyas,
4. Chinese Flute or Dize
38) Navagraha kriti `Ankaragamasrayamyakam’ of Muthuswamy Diksitar – A Study.
39) Sapta Ratna-s of Othukadu Venkatasubbaiyer – A Study.
40) Ghana raga Pancharatna kriti-s of Saint Tyagaraja - A Study.
41) A Study of Muthuswamy Diksitar’s Navagraha kriti `Suryamurte’.
42) Comparative Violin techniques in Western and South Indian Classical Music.
43) International Library Review: 1987-1991:A Bibliometric Study.
44) Voice as a medium.
45) Music and Religion.
46) History of Fusion – Sruti Magasine
47) Nagasvaram – a multi faceted instrument
48) Origin of Fusion Music – The Brew Magasine
49) Orchestration of a Genre – Ongaku Japanese Traditional music – The Brew Magasine
Both are well versed in several languages including Tamil, English, French, German and Sanskrit.
LALITHA and NANDINI were also Music Critics for well-known websites.
PREPARATION OF STUDY MATERIALS
Both of them have also prepared and translated the study materials for the Music courses of the Institute of Distance Education, University of Madras from English to Tamil and Vice Versa.
LECTURE, DEMONSTRATIONS, WORKSHOPS
Dr. M. LALITHA and M. NANDINI have also given lecture demonstrations and conducted workshops in India and abroad. They presented a workshop for the Embassy of India in Nepal on ` A Comparative study of the three systems – the South Indian Classical, North Indian Classical and Western Classical music’.
They presented a workshop for Sangit Bharati, Trivandrum on the `Techniques of Violin Music’ and on `Fusion Music’.
Gave lecture on Comparative violin techniques in Western and South Indian Classical Music for Saraswathi, Chennai.
Gave lectures for the students of World Music, University of Pittsburgh, USA on Indian Music, Folk music of India and Bollywood music.
Spoke on `Voice as a medium’, Department of Music, University of Pittsburgh, USA.