T S Nandakumar

Percussionist, Mridangam artiste

T S Nandakumar
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T S Nandakumar
T S Nandakumar

T S Nandakumar developed a strong interest in music before he was seven years old. He gained a reputation as an accompanist to some well known names in carnatic music such as Semmangudi Srinivasa IyerM. D. RamanathanS. RamanathanR. K. SrikantanBhimsen JoshiM. BalamuralikrishnaT. N. KrishnanL. SubramaniamN. RamaniK. J. YesudasN. Rajam, T. K. Govinda Rao, Nedunuri KrishnamurthyT. V. Gopalakrishnan and several others.

Besides being an amiable accompanist Nandakumar has shown a flair for teaching and training students in a number of music institutions and fine arts sabhas in Mumbai. Not content with just training, he has found a medium for the students to hone their skills and play in unison.TSN's percussive Arts Centre which is a composite unit drawn from talented teenagers. He trained his students in mridangamkonnakolthavilghatamkanjiramorsing instrument playing for ensemble. Under his tutelage, the ensemble has been performing with excellence. Having performed all over Mumbai and in the south of India,he came out with Jewels of Rhythm cassettes in those days.[2]

Nandakumar has been promoting Indian carnatic music both as a teacher and a performer. He has had the privilege of performing for various festivals all over the country, besides giving performances for All India Radio and Doordarshan.

He has conducted several musical concerts, lectures cum demonstration and workshops in India as well as abroad like Lamar University of Houston, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and several others to train students and build their rapport with artists by accompanying them.

Nandakumar has earned several awards. He received the LifeTime Achievement Award from Shanti Foundation, Chennai for his contributions to the field of Indian classical music. He was honored by the Cleveland Tyagaraja group with the 'Best Teacher Award' where M. Balamuralikrishna and Nirupama Rao, Indian Ambassador to the United States was the guest of honor, and the Bharat Ratna M. S. Subbulakshmi Best Teacher Award from the Shanmukhananda Fine Arts and Sangeetha Sabha, Mumbai.[1] He was also felicitated and honoured by Shri R. K. Laxman the cartoonist.

Pittsburgh University in America conducts special classes in percussive arts for which they have enlisted Nandakumar. He used to conduct classes in the VenkateswaraTemple, Pittsburgh; Academy of Indian Music, New JerseySwitzerland and several places in other countries.

Nandakumar composed and released Jewels of Rhythm Vol 1Jewels of Rhythm Vol 2 and Jewels of Rhythm Vol 3 which were performed by his students at the ages of nine and ten respectively, and Vibrative Rhythms which is a fusion of Carnatic, Hindustani and Western music as a one-man ensemble of mridangam, konnakol, thavil, ghatam, kanjira and the morsing played by himself and Rymthmic Sequences by Kosmik company.

TSN's Percussive Arts Centre was founded in response to demand from students for higher learning in the art of percussion. Since inception,the centre has presented several annual events which included performances by well known artists in carnatic music, amongst others by N. Rajam, N. Ramani, A. Kanyakumari, L.Subramanium and several others at the Shanmukhananda Hall, Chembur Fine Arts Hall and vice versa. Such events organized under the banner of TSN's Percussive Arts Centre serve as inspiration to young students and encourage them to take to the stage. Nandakumar has Indian students as well as non-Indian students all over the globe.He conducted decennary function of the centre with a performance by ninety six students on stage.[1]

Hard work was put in by Nandakumar for rehearsals and special training to students in percussion instruments and in Konnakol 'singing' for their stage performances. His students are also popularizing the same art given to them by teaching other students. His centre is also in Zurich, Switzerland and also runs 'TSN's Percussive Arts Centre, Inc' school in New Jersey, United States with the motive of promoting Indian classical music all over the world.

   Awards & Achievements

  • Title - SwaraSadhana Ratna
  • Title - Gurushikhamani
  • Title - Sruthilaya Sudhakara
  • Life Time Achievement Award by Shanti Foundation, Chennai
  • Cleveland Thygaraja Aradhana Committee awarded him as the Best Teacher Award
  • Bharatratna M S Subbulakshmi Best Teacher Award
  • 'A-Grade' artist in All India Radio
  • Awarded from Soorya Dance Festival
  • Honoured by Shanmukhananda Fine Arts & Sangeetha Sabha, Mumbai
  • Honoured by Padam, Mumbai
  • Honoured by Music Triangle, Mumbai
  • Honoured by Naadalaya, Mumbai
  • Honoured by Swara Sadhana Samithi, Mumbai
  • Honoured by Mudra, Chennai
  • Honoured by TVG Academy, Chennai

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