A. Kanyakumari  (Violinist)

kanyakumariAvasavala Kanyakumari hails from Vijayanagaram, a cultural hub in the South Indian state of Andhrapradesh. Her tryst with the violin began at a very early age during when she came under the tutelage of Vijayaswara Rao and later from M. Chandrasekharan. The watershed in her career came in 1972, when her musical genius was given due recognition by the late Dr. M.L. Vasantha Kumari (MLV). Kanyakumari went on to accompany MLV on her concert tours for the next 19 years.

During her 1980 US tour, a Minneapolis violin collector who was amongst the audience, struck by her sterling performance, presented Kanyakumari with a violin from her collection. In 1990 Kanyakumari performed at the Tansen Utsav in NewDelhi. The celebrated Hindustani musician Ustad Amjad Ali Khan after hearing Kanyakumari's concert, in a rare gesture, draped her with the same shawl that he was honored with on the same stage.

She has also accompanied besides MLV, flautist Dr. N. Ramani, vocalist Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna, Mandolin Srinivas and mridangist T.V. Gopalakrishnan. For the past 10 years, Kanyakumari has also been organizing concert tours in India under the banner of Vadyalahiri: an instrumental ensemble comprising a rare combination of the nadaswaram, violin and the veena.

In 1988, Kanyakumari performed a rare feat at the Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala, India. She played the violin for 29 continuous hours, an unofficial world record. Commemorating Kanyakumari's 25 years in concerts, M.S. Subbalakshmi honored her with the title Dhanurveena Praveena. Kanyakumari offers free violin tuition in Madras. Prasanna, a carnatic guitarist and Embar Kannan are two of her students who are already making waves in the Carnatic music circle.

Vadyalahiri and 25 Violins are amongst the discs that Kanyakumari has recorded.

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