Gayathri is a household name in any
musically literate home in India and abroad.
Veena Gayathri was born on 9th November
1959 to Smt. Kamala Aswathama, a veteran
veena vidushi and Sri G. Aswathama, a
popular film music director of telugu
When Veena Gayathri was a toddler, her
father noticed a popular phenomenon in her
when she used to stamp her feet on the floor
and sway the anklet bells in tune with any
rythmic beat she happened to hear. Her
father realized the prodigy in the child.
She developed an unconscious attachment to
veena and started playing on it for hours
together unobtrusively in the pooja room.
But if there was any intrusion or
disturbance during her veena Sadhana, she
used to burst into tears and cry. Her father
then started coaching her in manodharma and
mother trained her in the intricacies of
veen techniques. This is how to veena
Gayathri blossommed into a veena artiste at
an unimaginably tender age of 6.
She launched her eventful and illustrious
career by making her debut in giving veena
concert in Karpaga Vinayagar temple in
During the year 1968, when Sri
Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, Triplicane
invited her to participate in their Saint
Thyagaraja Festival she was a child prodigy
who was hardly 9 years old. Her performance
was a resounding success in front of a huge
audience of musicologists and experts. Prof.
P. Sambamurthy the renowned musicologist
instantly hailed veena Gayathri as child
prodigy. This was her maiden stage
performance which not only got her
adulation, accolades and econiums but also
launched her on a long and fulfilling
Subsequently in the year 1970. She gave
another concert in Sri Parthasarathy Swami
Sabha again on public demand. She had never
looked back from then on.
During her childhood days she was
well-known as Baby Gayathri. Her penance on
veena for years and years has naturally
given her the name Veena Gayathri implying
that veena is synonyms with Gayathri and
Gayathri is the embodiment of veena. Her
admirers who have been enraptured by her
melody, bhava purity of sahithyam, thala
suddham, layam and lakshanam constitute a
great majority of music lovers all over the
Veena Gayathri also had her advanced
training under the expert guidance of
Sangita Kalanidhi Sri.T.M. Thigarajan for 10
long years. According to her, the
scintillating performance which she gave in
the immediate divine presence of Jagatguru
Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi of Kanchi
Kamakoti Peetam (reverentaially known as "
Maha Periyava" at the age 11 had enhanced
the innate divinity in her veena playing
Maha Periyava Presented to veena Gayathri a
sandalwood crown with "OM" engraved on it
and asked her to wear it on her head. His
Holiness blessed Veena Gayathri while she
played with the crown on her head.
Veena Gayathri has performed in many
parts of the world such as, USA, UK,
Malaysia, Singapore, Sultanate of Oman,
France and Germany. She was invited to
perform in the Festival on India celebration
in Paris, France and Sri Lakshmi Narayana
Global Festival in Berlin, Germany in the
Veena Gayathri had also worked with
almost all leading music directors of the
South Indian Film Industry for nearly two
The Golden Jubilee Celebration of
Independence of India at Chennai in 1997 had
the BBC sponsoring her veena concert. Mr.
Mark Tully of BBC compered the programme and
her inimitable performance endeared her to
both the Indian and foreign dignitaries who
comprised the audience.
She is a veena artiste who had been
exploring innovating and discovering new
frontiers of music through veena. She has
released innumerable albums and CDs and they
have all records in the sale of titles in
Her adroitness, dexterity, and perfection
in handling each and every theme on Veena,
right from Carnatic music to ghazals, Jazz,
fusion, pop, folk etc have made her the most
versatile veena vidushi we have in the field
of Carnatic Instrumental Music today She is
the favourite artiste of the connoisseur of
Carnatic music as well as the commoner.
Dinamani, one of the leading regional
news papers had hailed her as "BOOMIKKU
VANDA SARASWATHI" meaning the goddess of
Arts "Saraswathi having descended on earth
in the form of Veena Gayathri.
She has also performed in various
festivals organised by learned vedic
scholars and pandits. She is proficient in
playing the "sookthas" and "Mantrapushpam"
on the veena.
Despite many accomplishments and awards
her vision and mission are to visualize
spiritualism and experience divinity through
veena and reconfirm the belief that veena
yoga is definitely one of the means to
attain soul-elevation and for eternal
communion with the Absolute. Her veena
playing is an attempt to reach Para Brahmam
through Nadha Brahmam.
The delineation of Raga and thanam the
musical contours she traces through her
fingers, the tonal modulation, shown by her
constant shuffling of hands, the crescendo
effect transition from the depths of hush,
the effortless ease with which she plays
lead one to believe that she energises the
veena strings and breathes music into them
through her Adhara Chakras with the flow of
Her raga alapanas are always oscillating
between the Octave scales in a measured
manner, crisp and overflowing with
captivating grace and alluring gravitational
pull. She is one Veena Artiste who can make
her instrument sing the Sahityam in its
pristine purity like a seasoned Vocalist.