Akkarai Subhalakshmi

Category Instrumental | Tags Violin



Akkarai Subhalakshmi is a leading Carnatic violinist. Her grandmother R Sornambal was an expert in harikatha (devotional musical storytelling), and she grew up in the music school founded by her father Akkarai S Swamynathan. She sought to replicate the styles of her Carnatic heroes - GN Balasubramaniam, MS Gopalakrishnan, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, TN Krishnan, and Lalgudi Jayaraman (who she describes as ‘God’).

Today she performs solo as well as in acclaimed duets with either TM Krishna or her sister Akkarai S Sornalatha. She speaks out bravely on issues of gender inequality in Carnatic classical: “As female musicians we lose out because of our gender. There are artistes I would love to play for who, I know, would never have a female accompanist”.


"Ultimately what binds us are the seven swaras of music. It is what makes music universal even when we cannot speak each other’s languages."


—Also see Living Traditions: 21 articles for 21st-century Indian classical music, our new series exploring how music with ancient roots continues to innovate in a fast-paced, interconnected modern world. Expand your appreciation!


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