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Aruna Sairam



India's legendary classical vocalist Aruna Sairam was born in the multicultural metropolis of Mumbai into a family with a deep love of music. Her mother, Smt. Rajalakshmi, was her first teacher in the art of Carnatic music, the classical music of South India. Her father, Shri Sethurman, a music connoisseur, hosted many of the foremost musicians and dancers from northern and southern India in the family home. It was in this propitious atmosphere, which was fundamental to the development of her art, that Aruna met her Guru, Sangita Kalanidhi Smt.T.Brinda, who trained her in the style of her own mentor, the great Veena Dhanammal, one of the most outstanding figures in Carnatic music.

As a child, Aruna demonstrated an extraordinary aptitude for music. It won her first GOLD medal at the age of eight at the Shanmukhananda Sabha Competition in Bombay (nowadays Mumbai). Aged 14, she performed her first full-length solo concert at the Rama Navami festival, Bhajana Samaj in the same city. Aged 21, she won the Best Young Musician Award at the annual conference held at the famed Music Academy in Chennai. Aruna began to get noticed as a serious musician of great promise and went on to render performances throughout the country.

Over the following years Aruna brought her own approach to Carnatic music, drawing on the cosmopolitan influences of Mumbai and, coevally, on her Guru’s pure classical style. Her musical perceptions were enriched by exposure to film, western and Hindustani (Northern Indian) classical music. She ushered in a new approach to concert presentation, extending the boundaries of the Carnatic repertoire while remaining firmly rooted in the classical grammar and tradition of this great art form.


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