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Forging bonds through music

  • Broadcast in Culture
Global citizens of India

Global citizens of India


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Dr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran is a visionary composer whosework in the area of Indian American choral music uses the transformative power of music to build diverse communities. He is credited with creating a new sound; the coming together of Indian voices with traditional western choirs. The Indian-American choral movement that he pioneered has led to the founding of Indian diaspora choirs in several cities in North America. His work spread to Europe. He founded Greater Cincinnati Indian community choir. His  opening invocation ‘Mahavakya’ was performed by his daughter at the reception accorded to PM Modi at MSG, NYC.  His anthem for the Indian diaspora opened the Indiaspora Conference in 2015. His magnum opus ‘Shanti – A Journey of Peace’ a contemporary oratorio for large mixed choruses  recently completed its 10th anniversaryHis recent work in the Netherlands enabled the founding of a Surinamese Indian choir and a collaboration with Dutch choirs. His recent work with children from the Dharavi area was featured as the finale of INK Talks 2015 in Mumbai, India.

Kanniks has collaborated with many orchestras and artists. His work has been widely reported several newspapers. Kanniks was interviewed on NPR and in TedX. He is the recipient of several awards. He has been teaching Indian Music at the College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati as an Adjunct Faculty since 1994. His award winning research and his recording of   Indo colonial music of the 1800s is beginning to have an impact on Indian musical pedagogy. He is the founder of the American School of Indian Art, an institution committed to bringing the best of the East and the West to the Indian-American diaspora and beyond. Kanniks is a graduate of IIT Madras (1984) and he lives in Cincinnati OH with his wife Jayashree and daughters Vidita and Sukhita.