News & Notes

Tribute - Sivasakthi Sivanesan

Sivasakthi Sivanesan, well known Carnatic vocalist, vainika, and music teacher with the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in London, passed away on 31 October 2021.

Sivasakthi was born in Jaffna, in northern Sri Lanka, on 21 February 1957, in a musical family. Her father was her guide and mentor, and her training in music and dance began at the tender age of five. The renowned Yazhpanam N. Veeramani Iyer -- a composer, choreographer and dancer --  was her first guru.  She performed her arangetram in Jaffna when she was thirteen, in the presence of S. Balachander, the chief guest.  She continued her musical training from stalwarts like Chittoor Subramania Pillai (vocal) and Kalyanakrishna Bhagavatar (veena) at the Ramanathan Academy of Fine Arts and graduated with a Sangeetha Ratnam diploma when she was just fifteen. Sivasakthi was proficient in Carnatic vocal music, the veena and Bharatanatyam.

To pursue advanced training in music, Sivasakthi left Jaffna for Chennai in 1972 and enrolled at the Carnatic Music College. She was fortunate to learn from eminent musicians like D.K. Jayaraman, Prof. S. Ramanathan, R. Vedavalli, K.V. Narayanaswamy, T.M. Tyagarajan, B. Rajam Iyer, Sandhyavandanam Srinivasarao and Tiruppamburam Shanmugasundaram in Chennai. She also took special training in nattuvangam from natyacharya Adyar K. Lakshman in Chennai.

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