Music is a powerful tool to harmonize Man with himself and his global environment
– Dr.K.S.Subramanian

Brhaddhvani is the vision of Dr.Karaikudi S.Subramanian, a ninth generation vina player, grand nephew and adopted son of Karaikudi Vinai Sambasiva Iyer, the legendary vina player who was the first to receive the Presidential Award in 1952. Dr. Karaikudi Subramanian (Formerly Professor of Music, Department of Indian Music, University of Madras, 1986-2002) with the blessings of Dr. S. Seetha (Formerly Professor and Head of the Department of Indian Music, University of Madras) founded this organization in 1989 as a non-profit, tax exempted, registered trust. The trustees are eminent personalities in different disciplines, now chaired by Sri. Vinod Kumar (Visa International.)

Dr.Subramanian is one of the senior most A graded performing artistes on the vina with All India Radio. His musical experience begins from his boyhood from his mother Lakshmi Ammal and in the company of foremost traditional maestros of India extending to avant-garde artistes in a global context. His collegiate education spans from chemistry and English literature at the bachelors and post-graduate level respectively, to ethnomusicology for his doctorate at the Wesleyan University, USA. He is a combination of a vina player, an educationist, a writer, composer, and a producer.

Subramanian believes, ‘Music is a powerful tool to harmonize man with himself and with is global environment.’ His love and respect for humanity and individual freedom urges him to explore new ways to realize this. He has lived abroad for a decade, learning, teaching and performing music. Since 1989, his focus turned towards bridging the gap between the ‘gurukula’ and the ‘institution’ in music education. He attempts to revitalize music from a new perspective. Brhaddhvani now offers this vision to the World music community.

The Search

The critical mind of Dr.Subramanian started from very early. The weight of tradition as the ninth generation vina artiste but without ‘proper’ supportive elements from within the family and society at large was too much for him to carry along. This made him search for a new meaning for tradition. He began journeying within himself and around the globe with education in chemistry and English literature with a natural inclination for abstraction and philosophy. He discovered the value of institutional learning, the value of a critical and just mind, the values in evaluating tradition from a comparative perspective.

Dr.Subramanian’s research extended to Ethnomusicology for his PhD. in Wesleyan University (1975-85) where he rediscovered his own tradition from a global perspective. His research in vina styles taught him to look closer to details with an eye on the wholeness. He began feeling that there should be a better way of dealing with tradition, not as a compelled or deliberate acquisition, but as a worthwhile search to discover one’s identity in whatever context one is likely to be.

Dr.Subramnian’s performing and teaching experience in music extends from traditional to the most innovative and experimental. With this, he came to India in 1986 and joined the faculty of music at the University of Madras. His research into institutional learning in India with respect to music made him once again adventure into new realms in music education with the right admixture of the ‘gurukula’ and the ‘institution’. He has come up with an answer – Brhaddhvani, Research and Training Centre for Musics of the World.