Artistic Director Nivedita ShivRaj
Nivedita ShivRaj is a talented carnatic music professional and hails from a family of musicians. She is the great-granddaughter of Puducherry Rangaswami Iyer – a great music composer honored by the King of Venkatagiri.
Nivedita ShivRaj was initiated in carnatic music by her maternal grandmother, Smt. A.Saraswathi – a vocalist and a violinist. She started learning Veena when she was five years. Her paternal grandmother Smt. Kokilamba was also a talented vocalist. Nivedita ShivRaj is the disciple of renowned musicians Shri. Thanjavur Lakshmanan and Shri. V.Raghavan. She has also taken advanced lessons from Dr.Chittibabu.
She has been performing for more than 20 years, in various sabhas, temples and cultural organizations in India and the USA. She was an All India Radio artiste. She has won many medals and prizes in various competitions. She was the first Indian musician to be featured in the Spiral Music series of the Rubin Museum of Arts, New York.
She has conducted workshops on carnatic music in the New York City Public Schools organized by Carnegie Hall. In these workshops, she discussed Indian music and the important aspects of carnatic music and also the distinct features of the South Indian string instrument, the Veena. She teaches vocal music and veena in New York.
Nivedita ShivRaj is also a trained Bharathanatyam dancer. She provides vocal and veena support for Bharathanatyam and Kuchipudi dance performances and dance productions.
She has created two unique productions “Veena Melodies” and “Veena Isai Thendral” blending classical music with western rhythms and modern technology. Her music on the veena is accompanied by a live vocal chorus which is unique in carnatic music.
Nivedita Shivraj is an active volunteer at the Hindu Center, Tamil associations and other community organizations.