B. Balasubrahmaniyan and David Nelson

B. Balasubrahmaniyan: Vocal Music of South India [CANCELED]

Thursday, October 5, 2023 at 7:00pm
Crowell Concert Hall

$12 general public; $10 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; FREE! for Wesleyan students and youth under 18.

PLEASE NOTE: This concert has been canceled.

Vocalist and Adjunct Associate Professor of Music B. Balasubrahmaniyan will be joined by Adjunct Associate Professor of Music David Nelson PhD ’91 on mridangam (double-headed drum) for their 20th annual Navaratri Festival concert together. The duo will be accompanied by violinist L. RamakrishnanThis event is part of the 47th annual Navaratri Festival at Wesleyan.

B. Balasubrahmaniyan (voice) performs and teaches Karnatak music in India and in the United States. He began music lessons with his father, D. Balraj, and subsequently studied under several teachers, including B. Krishnamoorthy, T. Brinda, and T. Viswanathan. Balasubrahmaniyan (also known as Balu) has received several awards and fellowships for vocal music from a range of musical organizations. These include “Tamil Isaippanar,” from the Thanthai Periyar Tamil Isai Mandram Society, and the “Yuvakala Bharati” title from the Bharat Kalachar Cultural Center. He is a regular performer on All India Radio and Doordarshan television, and he has been invited to perform concerts at the St. Thyagaraja Aradhana music festival in Cleveland, Ohio. He holds a PhD in Music from the University of Madras. He is Adjunct Associate Professor of Music at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.

David Nelson (mridangam) has been performing and teaching South Indian drumming since 1975. From his principal teacher, the renowned T. Ranganathan, he learned to accompany a wide range of styles, including Bharata Natyam, South India’s classical dance. He has a PhD ’91 in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University, where he is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music. He has accompanied well-known artists throughout the United States, Europe, India, and China. He has also written extensively on South Indian drumming, including a major article in the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. His first book, Solkattu Manual: An Introduction to the Language of Rhythm in South Indian Music, was published in 2008 by Wesleyan University Press. In March 2013, he was awarded the title “Kala Seva Mani” by the prestigious Cleveland Tyagaraja Festival. In December 2017 he was awarded the “Padmashree Palghat Raghu Memorial Award” for excellence in mridangam by the Neelakanta Sivan Cultural Academy in Chennai. His second book, Konnakkol Manual: An Advanced Course in Solkattu, was published by Wesleyan University Press in June 2019.

L. Ramakrishnan (violin) hails from a musical family and was formally initiated into a musical odyssey by his mother at the age of two. He was trained in vocal music for eight years before beginning his training in Karnatak violin under the guidance of Smt. Visalam Vageeswar at the Shanmukhananda Vidyalaya, Mumbai. Ramakrishnan performed his first solo concert at the age of twelve at Shanmukhananda, Mumbai. He came under the wings of the distinguished violin maestro Kum.A.Kanyakumari at the age of thirteen. It was during this phase that he learned the importance of vocal orientation in instrument playing and the proper enunciation of Sahitya. Ramakrishnan has performed with Kanyakumari in her grand musical ensembles on numerous occasions. He has done additional training under Shri. T.K. Govinda Rao and Smt. T.R. Balamani. Ramakrishnan has accompanied many established and upcoming artists, including T. K. Govinda Rao, A. Kanyakumari, Nedunuri Krishnamurthy, M. Balamuralikrisha, and Abhishek Raghuram. Among the many honors and awards conferred on him are Naada Bhooshanam – Nadopasana (Mumbai), Shanmukha Mani – Shanmukhananda (Mumbai), and Best Violinist in sub-senior slot – Music Season (Music Academy). Ramakrishnan has performed all over India and across the United States. He currently works as the senior tech lead at Aetna in Connecticut.

Navaratri Festival Subscription
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Navaratri Festival subscription packages include all four ticketed performances, including world premiere music and Connecticut debut dance concerts. Subscriptions are available now as follows:

• FREE! for Wesleyan students and youth under age 18
• $23.50 for senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, and non-Wesleyan students
• $30 for the general public

Enjoy a 47% discount off regular prices when you purchase a subscription to all ticketed events. 

Offer ends on Thursday, October 5, 2023 at 7pm.

Listen to a performance by and interview about the Navaratri Festival with B. Balasubrahmaniyan and David Nelson on the Center for the Arts Radio Hour here: