Born into a family of prodigious musical talent, which has given Indian music such violin legends as Prof. T.N. Krishnan and Dr. N. Rajam, Kala’s felicity of musical expression on the violin manifested itself in early childhood. Seeing this, her grandfather Vidwan A. Narayan Iyer took her under his tutelage.
She went on to become a pre-eminent disciple of vocalist Pandit Jasraj. Under this mentorship Kala produced a sound so akin to vocal music that today her instrument is called ‘The Singing Violin’.
Kala has performed at all the major music festivals in India, as well as the most prestigious stages across the world, including the Sydney Opera House, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and Carnegie Hall, New York.
Due to her rigorous training in the classical tradition, Kala comfortably forges musical alliances with artists from different genres around the globe incorporating elements of Western Classical, Jazz, Flamenco and traditional African music into her repertoire.
Her album ‘Miles from India’ was nominated for the Grammy Awards in 2009.
Kala is also a sought after teacher who regularly lectures and conducts workshops. Among other institutions, she visits the Rotterdam Conservatory of Music, Netherlands, the University of Giessen, Germany, and the Weill Institute in association with the Carnegie Hall, New York.
She is one of the youngest artists to have become an ‘A Top’ grade performer on AIR. and is the recipient of many awards, among which are the ‘Rashtriya Kumar Gandharva Sanman’ and the ‘Pandit Jasraj Gaurav Puraskar’.
Following is an excerpt of her performance where she has been accompanied on the table by Shri Akram Khan.