Renowned violinist and composer Ambi Subramaniam, son of Dr. L.Subramaniam, released his much-awaited classical album, ‘Just Playing'. After the immense success of his debut album, Indian Violin (released in 2013) that also received much critical acclaim, classical music enthusiasts were waiting with bated breath for Ambi’s second solo release.
An exclusive sneak peek of Just Playing was available on the BBC Asian Network in the UK. The album was launched by Ambi’s mentor and inspiration, Gypsy violinist Roby Lakatos, lauded as “the fastest-fingered fiddler in the world” by The Daily Telegraph.
Touted as 'New King of Indian Classical Music', Ambi Subramaniam while commenting on his release, said, “It gives me immense pleasure to launch Just Playing alongside one of the world’s greatest violinists, Roby Lakatos. One of the ideas central to this album was that classical music can be fun and accessible to all, without losing its integrity. I chose the title 'Just Playing' to symbolize my relationship with classical music, as I approach it with ease and lightness of spirit while maintaining immense respect for all its beautiful complexities.”
The proceeds of the album will go towards creating an ensemble of underprivileged children through Subramaniam Academy of Performing Arts (SaPa), where the children will be trained to become professional musicians.
Ambi Subramaniam gave his first performance at the age of seven and since then has performed in many prestigious venues across the world. He has received the Ritz Icon of the Year Award, the Rotary Youth Award, two GiMAs (Global Indian Music Award for Best Fusion Album and Best Carnatic Instrumental Album) and Big Indian Music Award (for Best Carnatic Album).
About Ambi Subramaniam
Hailed as "the new king of Indian classical violin," Ambi regularly plays duet violin concerts with Dr. L.Subramaniam a s well as solo concerts. He has performed at the prestigious Dussehra Festival at the Mysore Palace, the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad, the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival, the Jay Pritzker Pavillion in Chicago, the Royal Festival Hall in London, the Maximum India Festival at Kennedy, the Royal Opera House, Muscat, and at the Centenary Celebration of the Bangalore Gayana Samaj. Ambi was a featured soloist for the 'Sounds of India' program featuring talented instrumentalists from around the country. Ambi has been invited to perform at TEDx events to expose new audiences to Carnatic music, and at age 13, was invited to present a concert for the then President of India – APJ Abdul Kalam for the Pravasi Bharitiya Divas. He has performed with Dr. M.Balamuralikrishna and Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia.
As a fusion performer, he has formed a band called SubraManiam with his sister Bindu. Ambi has performed extensively with his family (father Dr. L.Subramaniam, mother Kavita Krishnamurti Subramaniam and sister Bindu Subramaniam) and collaborated with Larry Coryell, Ernie Watts, Corky Siegel and Shankar Mahadevan. Ambi was a featured soloist at the 'Violins for Peace' concert series which featured Mark O' Connor, Loyko and others. He was part of a special performance at the Gateway of India in 2003, featuring violin greats Dr. L.Subramaniam and Jean-Luc Ponty. He also performed at a special open-air millennium concert on new year's eve 1999 for over 200,000 people. Ambi has been a regular performer at the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival.
As an orchestral soloist, Ambi performed 'Shanti Priya' with the Seattle Symphony in January 2013. He has also performed with the Orchestra Nationale du Lille, Sinfonia Baltica, the Kwazulu Natal Symphony, the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and the Leipzig Philharmoic Orchestra, to name a few.
Ambi plays Western and Indian violin with equal ease, and has appeared for the Associated Board Royal School of Music's violin exams and has been ranked first, securing distinctions and special awards. Apart from the violin, Ambi also received distinctions in Piano and Western music theory exams and is a three-time winner of the Philomena Thumbochetty Award for Best Western Classical Violinist. Ambi endorses D'Addario strings.
About Subramaniam Academy of Performing Arts (SaPa)
Founded in 2007 by acclaimed Indian violinist, composer, and conductor Dr. Lakshminarayana Subramaniam and his wife, Bollywood playback singer, Kavita Krishnamurti Subramaniam, SaPa’s vision is to create a home for global music in India. Based in Bangalore (India) and Fremont (California), the institute exposes its students to a holistic world of music, allowing exchange of ideas through cultural boundaries. SaPa is run by the Subramaniam Foundation, a registered charitable trust, and headed by noted singer/songwriter Bindu Subramaniam and ace violinist Ambi Subramaniam.
SaPa takes in talented students as young as three years old and helps them hone that talent. By offering the students training and scholarships, SaPa helps bring in the next generation of versatile musicians. Additionally, the 'SaPa in Schools' programme partners with schools and works with thousands of students, integrating music into the curriculum and helping them build a love and understanding for music.
With its focus on imparting both basic knowledge of music and professional training, SaPa’s focus is on Indian music, although Dr. L.Subramaniam stresses that elements of Carnatic music can be adapted in any form of music around the world. It runs special programs for professional musicians from across cultures who want to learn about Indian music, improvisation, composition, melodic, and rhythmic structures. It organizes workshops in India and California for interactive sessions, which bring together creative minds across arts.
Photo Caption: Ambi Subramaniam and Roby Lakatos