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Indira Sivasailam Endowment Medal for Pantula Rama
CHENNAI, September 10: Dr. Pantula Rama, a leading exponent of Carnatic music, has been chosen for this year’s Indira Sivasailam Endowment Medal.

Dr. Rama hails from a family of musicians and scholars. Her father, Pantula Gopala Rao, is a well-known violinist and her mother, Padmavathi, an accomplished veena artist.

The Indira Sivasailam Endowment fund, established in association with The Music Academy, Madras, aims to recognize and promote Carnatic musicians of distinction.

Each year a winner is chosen by a panel comprising members from the Endowments Committee of the Academy and Ms. Mallika Srinivasan, Chairman, TAFE. The Indira Sivasailam Foundation was established by Ms. Mallika Srinivasan as a tribute to her mother Indira Sivasailam, an avid follower and patron of the traditional art forms, especially Carnatic music. This year the foundation enters its 10th year of its existence.

Dr. Rama had her initial musical training under her father, and completed her advanced training under ‘Sangeeta Kalasagara’ Ivaturi Vijayeswara Rao. She is one of the youngest vocalists to have been awarded the prestigious top grade by the All-India Radio.

“She is equipped with a vast repertoire and highly imaginative approach, and is renowned for her interpretation of the works of old and new composers. Her unique style - distinctive for brilliant artistry, clarity of diction, an ever-fresh approach and a perfect balance of the different elements of Carnatic music - enthralls audiences around the world,” said a release.

She holds a doctorate in Carnatic music and has authored a book titled ‘Shaping of an ideal Carnatic musician through sadhana’.

“As a teacher and arts advocate, Dr. Rama believes in inspiring and shaping the next generation of music-aspirants to pursue arts as a lifestyle and career. Through her socio-cultural movement, PaRa – the Supreme, she aims to create and heighten the awareness of classical music with openness towards other genres of music,” the release added.

To mark the 10th year celebrations, R.K. Shriramkumar (violin), J. Vaidyanathan (mridangam) and Bhagyalakshmi M. Krishna (morsing) will be awarded The Indira Sivasailam Foundation 10th Anniversary Special Award for their exceptional performance as accompanying artistes.

The award ceremony and The Indira Sivasailam Endowment Concert will be held at the Music Academy Madras, on October 4.

Anwesha – 'Quest for the Best'
Over the past nine years The Indira Sivasailam Foundation has brought rasikas and artists together to celebrate the rich Carnatic music tradition. As a pre-event to the 10th Indira Sivasailam Endowment Concert, the Foundation will be hosting Anwesha – ‘Quest for the Best’ and the ‘Bala Vidwan’ contest on September 25 at The Music Academy, Madras.

Those who wish to participate in the Bala Vidwan contest can send in the entries in the form of a video of their renditions, vocal or instrumental (violin and flute) of any song related to Classical Carnatic music through The Indira Sivasailam Foundation Facebook page ( Questions for Anwesha can be sent to the Facebook page inbox or emailed to

Both contests are open till September 17.

Since 2010, musicians such as Sudha Ragunathan, Sanjay Subrahmanyan, Aruna Sairam, Bombay Jayashri, T. M. Krishna, the Malladi brothers – Sreeramprasad and Ravikumar, the violin duo - Lalgudi Krishnan and Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi, the RaGa sisters –Ranjani and Gayatri and Jayanthi Kumaresh have been conferred this honour.