Nirmala Rajasekar has began her career as a soloist at age 13. Nirmala has performed in many prestigious venues such as the United Nations and Carnegie Hall, New York City, USA; Northrope Auditorium, Minneapolis, MN; Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, MN; BBC, London, England; Kongresshaus, Zurich, Switzerland; Musee Rietberg, Zurich, Switzerland; Bali, Indonesia; Music Academy, Chennai, India; Naradha Gana Sabha, Chennai, India; Chembur Fine Arts, Mumbai, India; Bangalore Gayana Samaja, India and the Ravindra Kalakshethra, Bangalore, India. She is the artistic director of the school Naadha Rasa (Essence of Tone), Center for Music. Performances of her ensemble have been seen and heard at many venues in the USA.??
Nirmala travels around the world teaching and performing Carnatic Music vocally and on her veena She is an active collaborator with other forms of art as well including western Classical music, Jazz, Chinese poetry.?
Several awards and honors have been given to Nirmala as recognition for her many contributions to the music world and passionate spreading of the veena and Carantic music.? Nirmala is the artistic director of the school Naadha Rasa, Center for Music. The words ‘Naadha Rasa’ means the ‘essence of tone.’ Her school brings Carnatic Music around the entire state of Minnesota, from the famous Minnesota State Fair to the local libraries.
Nirmala also teaches Carnatic Music in many schools and colleges around the world. She has judged numerous music contests around America.
Nirmala has received much recognition for her contributions to the music world, for not only performing and teaching Carnatic Music, but also for introducing it to other art forms in the world. Today, she is one of the leading veena artists.
Nirmala Rajasekar began her training under Sri Deva Kottai Narayana Iyengar and Smt. Kamala Aswathama. After moving to Bangalore, she learned at the Gana Mandira School in Basavangudi Smt. G Chennama and Smt. E. P. Alamelu. the violin Vidwan Sri A. D. Zachariah also guided her. Later in Chennai, she was guided by the revered veena vidushi for Smt.Kalpakam Swaminathan who passed away on April 6 2011. Her vocal Gurus are Sri B.Sitarama Sarma and Sri T.R. Subramanyam.
Awards & Titles
- In 1989 Nirmala was chosen by the Indian Council for Cultural relations to represent India and perform in International Festivals. Berne, Switzerland was the first venue where she performed in 1991.
- In 1990 Nirmala was given the topnotch ranking of ‘A grade Artist’ by All India Radio, India’s premier gradations board.
- Since 1995, she has received grants such as Artists Initiative,Cultural Collaboration Grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board; grants and commissions from the Jerome Foundation, Playwrights Center, COMPAS Meet the Composer New York.
Nirmala was selected as a BUSH Artistic fellow in 2006 by the Bush Foundation.
In 2008 she was given the 2008 Achievement award by the India Association of MN, a unique honor given to one individual in the State of Minnesota every year.
Rotary Club International presented her with a Vocational Excellence award in 2009.
- Naadha Kala Vipanchee award from Dr.Balamuralikrishna and Dr.Saraswathy
Indian Fine Arts Society Jan 2009
- Nirmala won the Best concert award from the Indian Fine Arts Society India (2009) Best Veena artist from the Narada Gana Sabha 2009 and Best Veena concert of the Festival from the Carnegie Hall of India –the Music Academy Madras, India in Jan 2010.
- In May 2010, Nirmala has received (from the MacPhail Center for Music) the McKnight Performing Artists Fellowship for the year 2010-2011. She has become the first Indian Musician to be chosen for this Fellowship.
- Nirmala performed at the second National Conference of Veena at Chicago Illinois as a featured artist in April 2010 where she was honored for her many contributions to the music world.