To achieve greatness- one should have a dream or passion, continuously acquire knowledge, work hard with perseverance and not be afraid of problems.
— Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam
Dr. JAYANTHI KUMARESH
Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh is a luminary in the world of melodic craftsmanship, a torchbearer for the Saraswathi Veena, India’s National Instrument.
Her musical odyssey, spanning an impressive 38 years, is a testament to unwavering dedication and a profound connection with the rich heritage of classical Indian music. Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh, a sixth-generation musician born into the illustrious Lalgudi family, commenced her journey at the tender age of three under the guidance of her mother, Smt. Lalgudi R. Rajalakshmi.
However, it was at the age of 13 that Dr. Jayanthi embarked on a transformative pilgrimage, leaving the comforts of home to immerse herself in the rigorous training of the Veena under the mentorship of Vidushi Padmavathy Ananthagopalan. This commitment extended for an astonishing 22 years, during which she not only honed her skills but also deepened her musical expertise, refining her technical prowess under the guidance of Veena Virtuoso Padma Bhushan
Dr. S. Balachander.
Her insatiable thirst for knowledge led her to receive specialized training from illustrious maestros such as Shri. Lalgudi G. Jayaraman, Smt. T. Brinda, Shri. T. R. Subramaniam, and Shri. Thanjavur Shankara Iyer. Recognizing her exceptional talent, All India Radio awarded her the highest A-TOP grading, making her one of the youngest Veena artistes to achieve this distinction.
As a torchbearer of a musical legacy spanning six generations, Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh has dedicated her life to the Saraswathi Veena, showcasing its divine voice to audiences worldwide for over 38 years. Her collaborations with national and international artists have not only demonstrated the Veena’s versatility but also highlighted her technical prowess, solidifying her status as a legendary Veena master.
Beyond her role as an artist, Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh is a composer, researcher, creator, pioneer, educator and a philanthropist. She holds the distinguished status of being an empanelled artist with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and serves on the Academic Council at Chinmaya Vishwa Vidyapeeth and Shri Sathyasai University for Human Excellence.
Her commitment extends beyond performance and accolades. Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh has revolutionized teaching methods, leveraging technology to propagate the Veena tradition through her online academy and educational video series. She has taken the Veena to audiences across continents, fostering an interest in this traditional instrument, even among those unfamiliar with its divine resonance.
In recognition of her contributions, she is a recipient of the Kalaimamani award from the Government of Tamil Nadu and has been honored with the prestigious Award for Veena an astounding ten times by The Music Academy, Chennai, between 1990 and 2021. She is a recipient of more than 25 awards till date from different organisations from different parts of the world.
Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh’s philanthropic endeavours include raising funds for charitable organizations like the Aishwarya Trust Foundation (Congenital Heart Disease) and the FAME school for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities in Bangalore. She has composed music for Bharat Gyan’s documentaries on Indian civilization and consistently donates 15% of her concert earnings to promote art in smaller Indian cities.
Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh also provides free music education to less privileged children and has recorded therapeutic music for Times Now to help reduce blood pressure and arthritis.
Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh stands as a beacon of excellence, transcending geographical and cultural boundaries to preserve and propagate the voice of the Saraswathi Veena, leaving an indelible mark on the world of classical Indian music.
You can read more about Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh at her website
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In this conversation we discuss about
- how an ecosystem matters in the growth of an individual
- the role of a mentor
- preparing for a concert
- role of spirituality in her life
- the role of women in music
- the awards and success
- work life balance
- her philanthropical activities