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Dr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran

1984 - B.Tech - Metallurgical and Material Engineering Founder of American School of Indian Art (ASIA) @ Indo-American Musician, Scholar, Composer, Writer and Music Educator, Cincinnati, USA

Dr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1984. He went on to finish his Master’s in Materials Engineering from University of Cincinnati in 1986 followed by an MBA from the same university in 1988. His love and passion for Music resulted in a Doctorate degree in Indian Music from the University of Madras in 2014.

Dr. Kannikeswaran is referred to as the “Magic Musician from Madras”. He is credited with creating a new territory in music – of melding Indian classical music with traditional western choirs. He is the founding Director of the American School of Indian Art (ASIA), an institution committed to bringing the best of the East and West to the Indian-Diaspora and beyond and the Shanti Academy committed exploring new vistas Indian American choral music and community building. His pioneering work has touched the lives of several lakhs of music lovers, and over 2500 musicians and dancers as they work with him in creating soulful musicals that provide platforms for diverse communities to come together and celebrate the interconnectedness of life. He pioneered The Indian American Choral movement, which led to the founding of the Indian diaspora choirs in several cities in the US. The success of this movement has taken his musical journey to Europe.

These projects have provided a launch pad for amateur singers to explore the apparently borderless world of music, break bread with musicians from various communities, genres and traditions while simultaneously celebrating Indian culture. Dr. Kannikeswaran has contributed widely to the academic world in the field of Music. He is a recipient of the lifetime achievement award from the Geeva foundation and the SRGMPDN foundation, the Humanities award from the Hindu American Foundation along with several other medals in prestigious competitions. He is also the recipient of several fellowships for his teaching of the traditional arts and for his productions.

Dr. Kannikeswaran has been described as a renaissance personality who effortlessly traverses diverse disciplines such as music, spirituality, and innovation. For his exemplary commitment and contribution to the field of music, IIT Madras and its alumni are proud to confer this award upon Dr. Kanniks Kannikeswaran.

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