1992 - MSc - Chemistry Carnatic vocalist
S. Sowmya, the renowned Carnatic vocalist, is an alumna of IIT Madras, having done her M.Sc. in Chemistry during 1990 – 1992. She was awarded the meritorious IITM Blue in 1992 for excellence in Academics and Cultural Activities. She then joined the Ph.D program under the guidance of Prof. K. K. Balasubramanian. Within a short duration, she managed to publish a research paper under his guidance
Apart from being an excellent scholar during her days at IIT Madras, Sowmya was also deeply involved in Carnatic music, doing her utmost to balance her time between academics and music. The Carnatic music scene at that time was very competitive with many youngsters trying to carve a niche for themselves. In spite of her commitment to research in Chemistry, she did well in the music circles and finally decided to devote herself full-time to music. She then successfully completed B.A. and M.A. in Indian Music from the Department of Music, University of Madras during 1996 and 1998, respectively. She has since been pursuing her passion in Carnatic music to great public and critical acclaim, and is currently performing doctoral research in Indian music, focusing on pitch variations in percussion instruments.
Sowmya’s has been a life soaked in melody from the very beginning. Growing up in a traditional South Indian family, her initial tutelage in music was from her father Dr. Srinivasan, a Chemical Engineer with a Ph.D from IISc Bangalore, and a disciple of the renowned flautist Dindigul S. P. Natarajan. Later, Sowmya was taken under the wings of Sangita Kalanidhi Dr. S. Ramanathan. She received further training from Smt. T. Muktha, of the legendary Brinda-Muktha duo.
Sowmya is endowed with a melodious voice, as well as sound knowledge of the theory of Carnatic and other Indian music systems. Besides performing in concerts, Sowmya has also presented several lecture-demonstrations on Carnatic music and has been consistently ranked among the top female Carnatic vocalists in India. She has won several honors, awards and titles from prestigious organizations over the years, the most recent being Sangeetha Choodamani from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai. Her desire to propagate the traditions of South Indian music worldwide led her to establish Carnatica, an institution dedicated to music & dance instruction, archival, talent search and other related activities. Its web portal, carnatica.com, is now a popular online destination for music-related information and discussions.
Sowmya is producer and co-author of the world’s first interactive, encyclopedic CD-ROM on Carnatic Music titled Nadanubhava The Horizons of Carnatic Music. She has also created the world’s first tutoring VCD on Carnatic Music titled Nadopasana My Own Carnatic Tutor,a self-help module with Karaoke features.