Shantala Subramanyam

Young Shanthala Subramaniam’s flute recital for exuded confidence given by her musical prowess and the diligent training she has undergone to master the instrument.

– The Hindu, Chennai edition

Shantala Subramanyam born in Bangalore, was raised in Chennai, heartland of carnatic music, renowned for its emphasis on improvisation on beautiful ragas within a highly evolved rhythmic vocabulary. She plays the venu, a carnatic bamboo flute, and it’s an instrument with a warm sonority not unlike the traditional wood flute. Like many Carnatic musicians, Shantala started playing in early childhood under the tutelage of her father M N Subramanyam, himself an amature musician and her brother Shashank, an eminent flute artist.

It was also her good fortune to be trained by eminent performers - vocalist Late Sri. Vairamangalam Lakshminarayanan and is currently pursuing vocal music training under Sri O.S.Thyagarajan and Sri T V Gopalakrishanan. She gratefully acknowledges the contributions of famed South Indian drummers Trichur Sri.Narendran, Patri. Satish Kumar and Parupalli Phalgun towards enriching her rhythm training, spread over a decade.

Owing to her diligent training and hard training, Shantala has been highly appreciated for her melodic presentations combined with complex rhythmic patterns. Today, she’s recognized as an important and authentic voice in this demanding tradition and this view has been echoed by music critiques.

Shantala has has graced the stages of many reputed organizations such as Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Narada Gana Sabha, Mudhra, Hamsadhwani, Rama Seva Mandali to name a few and, in recent years is a frequent visitor to Europe, USA, Canada, England, Ireland and Malaysia for concerts, workshops and lec-dems. She has given master classes in Carnatic music and rhythms in Goteborg University, Music Academy OSLO, Royal College of Music – Stockholm, UNCG -North Carolina. She has performed for young audiences in schools in Sweden, Germany, USA and India.

Shantala is also a well sought after teacher. She has been imparting training in South Indian vocal music, flute playing and reciting kunakkol [vocal rhythm] to scores of students from India and across the globe.

She has released 2 CD albums titled “Bamboo in Harmony” and “Dakshin” in collaboration with popular and competitive artists from the South Indian music tradition. The albums have been highly appreciated by critiques and audiences alike.

Shantala Subramanyam is a very gifted and well-trained flautist. Her concert at the Bhavan, Mylapore was thoroughly enjoyable on may fronts, particularly to the song selection and intelligent rhythmic variations.

– The Hindu