Mridangam Artiste and multi-percussionist
Akshay Anantapadmanabhan is a reputed and leading mridangam artist known for his sensitivity, tonality and innovative approach of spreading Indian rhythm through the world. A prime disciple of the legendary guru Sri. T.H. Subash Chandran, Akshay has performed with the past and present leading names of Carnatic music: Sri RK Srikantan, Smt. Sudha Raghunathan, Smt. Aruna Sairam, Sri. Unnikrishnan, Sri. TM Krishna and Smt. Ranjani & Smt. Gayatri to name a few. Akshay has given collaborative performances with Hindustani, Latin jazz, American jazz and rock musicians in unique showcases of South Indian percussion. His latest solo production: ‘Re-imagining Indian Rhythms’ pushes the boundaries of Indian rhythms in an avant-garde approach, bringing together the mridangam, kanjira, konnakol and bharathanatyam with digital loopers and interactive visuals. Akshay is also a core member of the viral Indian Classical fusion bands ‘The Thayir Sadam Project’ and ‘Carnatic 2.0 Reloaded.’
Akshay began his journey on the mridangam at the age of 5 in Shanmukhananda Hall, Mumbai with Sri. T.S. Nandhakumar. He moved to the US along with his family when he was 9 and ironically, that was when his true love and passion for the mridangam and began. He learned from Dr. Venkat Natarajan in NJ, who introduced Akshay to Guru Subash Chandran, which was the beginning of a two-decade long relationship. After completing his school education, undergraduate degree and Masters in Engineering from The Cooper Union New York City, Akshay moved to Chennai, India in 2012 which marked the beginning of his journey as a full-time musician.
Along with his musicianship, Akshay is also involved with research related to generative Carnatic rhythms and intelligent listening systems as well as a an educator of Indian percussion.
Awards & Fellowships
Lavanya Laya Nipuna
Awarded by Puvanur Legacy Trust at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (Main Hall), Chennai
Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer Youth Excellence Award
Awarded by Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer Trust at Srinivasa Shastri Hall, Chennai
North America Young Musician Award
Awarded by Sringeri Vidya Bharati Foundation (SVBF) | Stroudsburg, PA
Dr. Vasantrao Deshpande Yuva Sangeet Pratiyogita Puraskar
Awarded by the South Central Zone Cultural Center, Nagpur
Invited by IndianRaga to be a fellow and menotr (in 2014-15) for their first ever fellowships in North American.
Feature articles, reviews and interviews about Akshay Anantapadmanabhan and his collaborations as a Carnatic mridangam artiste, multi-percussionist as well as a composer.
Konnakol Playhouse: Teaching Rhythm in a fun way
May 10, 2019
'Konnakol Playhouse', a production by The Thayir Sadam Project featuring over 1000 kids, featured by Times of India in this article. Read the full article by clicking on the button below.
Projects, Collaborations & Bands
An avant-garde production focused on exploring Indian rhythms in unique perspectives using ideas of Indian cultures. The production showcases a combination of solo as well as audience interactive pieces using mridangam, kanjira, konnakol, cajon and bharathanatyam. Featured and initiated with the support of NJ Council of the Arts and acclaimed as the "gateway to Indian rhythm."
Mridangam Solo Concert
In an effort to take South Indian percussion to the world, Akshay has been striving to reach audiences through different mediums. He has created several mridangam solo projects and has performed repertoires showcasing the mridangam and its sounds through solo concerts. Using inspirations from his diverse cultural background from the US as well as India, Akshay has developed his own voice as a soloist. He has given live performances in Abu Dhabi and in many parts of North America. Defined by technicality and creativity, Akshay is constantly looking to expand the the awareness and potential of the mridangam across the globe.
The Thayir Sadam Project
The Thayir Sadam Project is a band that creates a blend of Indian classical, electronic and world music.
Formed in 2018 by Bindu Subramaniam, Ambi Subramaniam, Mahesh Raghavan and Akshay Anantapadmanabhan, they are known for their engaging performances, and their ability to seamlessly weave elements of traditional and modern music styles. In addition to live performances, they conduct workshops for children, design interactive sessions for professionals and write songs/anthems for corporates. They have conducted workshops with over 5000 school children so far, teaching them global music and promoting social initiatives.