TEACHER

 

Kiranavali is a gifted teacher, with an experience belying her years. She has trained numerous students at the institutional as well as private levels in India. She was the youngest faculty member of the Shanmukhananda Fine Arts & Sangeeta Sabha, Mumbai, to handle the advanced and senior classes (1999-2000) and has also served the International Foundation of Carnatic Music (2002-2005) and the Center for Music in San Diego (2002-2004).

 

As a resident of the United States since 2002, she has made a significant difference to the music and cultural scene across various cities such as Philadelphia, Buffalo, San Diego and Sacramento. Her depth and width of knowledge and open-minded approach, combined with the intensity, rigor and professionalism she brings to teaching, have enabled several of her students to show remarkable progress within very short periods of time. Many of them have attained professional concert standards and are regularly invited to perform at reputed venues in North America and India. Several of them have also garnered top prizes at prestigious national-level competitions such as the ones conducted by the Cleveland Aradhana Committee, CMANA, and Maximum Media's Carnatic Idol.

 

Since 2003, Kiranavali has adopted a fine balance of traditional Indian methods such as gurukulavasa (resident student) and modern technology such as phone and Skype, to ensure continuity in learning and fidelity to the art form. As a reviver of the gurukulavasa method, she has seen much 

 

success in that students from across North America travel great distances to imbibe this sophisticated art form in a holistic way from her. They not only share a very close bond with her but have taken to the art form with great enthusiasm and sense of purpose, irrespective of their backgrounds or aptitudes. Most of them have achieved higher standards within shorter periods of time as well. Kiranavali's annual summer camps have been equally successful in creating and nurtuing interest among students of diverse backgrounds.

 

Kiranavali has won outstanding acclaim for her group productions with her students. They stand out not only for perfect synchrony and uniformity in presentation, but also for setting a high benchmark of excellence with regard to pitch and rhythm adherence, precision in timing, diction, fidelity to fine musical values and pioneering themes. Her noteworthy group productions have included Tyagaraja's Pancharatna kritis (2006-present), Muttuswami Dikshitar's Navagraha kritis (2008 & 2009), Shyama Shastri's Swarajatis (2009 & 2010) and Great Composers of the 19th century (2010). Many of these productions have been featured repeatedly at reputed venues such as Sruti.

 

One of Kiranavali's significant projects was to train a group of talented students to present tribute concerts to her guru T. Brinda, during her centenary year (2012). In this project, Kiranavali set out to find out if students with far less exposure to the classical arts and without a background like hers, would be able to absorb a sophisticated style such as Brinda’s. A group of ten students aged between 9 and 18 years learnt twenty masterpieces in this intense and intricate style and presented two extremely successful and moving concerts with completely varying lists at very different venues. 

 

Kiranavali's most recent production, Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan's 72-Mela Ragamalika, though musically very different from the T. Brinda project, was by far her biggest professional success, receiving unprecedented rave response from the cognoscenti at the prestigious Cleveland Tyagaraja Aradhana (2014). Seventeen students presented in perfect unison this long and unique masterpiece to a very discerning global audience. Kiranavali worked hard with her group to ensure that this musically challenging composition was presented with every raga standing out in stark relief from its close counterparts. The rendition set a new benchmark for both the composition and group production standards.

 

In recognition of her outstanding achievements as a teacher, Kiranavali has been awarded the title of Acharya Shri by Jaya TV and the Cleveland Tyagaraja Aradhana Committee (2011). 

In 2014, she was invited by the University of Pennsylvania to spearhead a Carnatic music performance course, where she now serves as a Professional Voice Associate.