Professor Trichy Sankaran is a world-renowned percussion virtuoso, Indian music scholar and composer, and the founding director of Indian music studies at York University.
Over the years, Professor Sankaran has bridged eastern and western pedagogical styles and has influenced generations of students who have become noted performers, composers, and music educators themselves. He has given numerous lecture demonstrations and workshops at various universities in Canada, U.S., Europe, Southeast Asia and India. He has made valuable contributions to many scholarly conferences across North America and has published numerous articles and two notable textbooks on South Indian classical drumming and the art of Konnakkol (rhythm solfege).
Trichy Sankaran has performed at major festivals in India, Southeast Asia, Europe, Australia and North America. In his more than 55 years of concert experience in Carnatic music, he has performed with all top rank artists of India. He has played in jugalbandhis (North-South combo) with famous Hindustani musicians. In addition to his usual traditional settings, he has performed with Nexus, gamelan, jazz, electronic, African music ensembles and world drums, as well as his own group, Trichy's Trio.
As a composer, he has to his credit numerous pieces in the genres of gamelan, jazz, traditional western classical orchestra, South Indian dance and world music ensembles. He continues to perform and write compositions for contemporary and world music ensembles. He has released many CDs. His recordings include Laya Vinyas (1990), Sunada (1993), Lotus Signatures (1997), Ivory Ganesh Meets Doctor Drums (1998), Catch 21 (2002), and Gaja Leela (2005).
Professor Sankaran has received numerous honours and awards for his contributions to University teaching and artistic excellence in the professional field. These include recipient of the title Sangita Kalanidhi; and Award from the Music Academy, Madras (one of the highest honours that is bestowed upon an artist of eminence by the Academy each year) as well as the degree of Doctorate in Music for his outstanding achievements in the academic and professional fields from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada in 1998. He is also a recipient of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations Award for teaching excellence (1992), and the Professional of the Year Award by the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (1998) for artistic excellence.
Professor Sankaran has made a contribution of unique range and scope to the Indian artistic community and to Canadian musical culture. He has dedicated himself for the cause and propagation of Carnatic music in North America in various ways – as an educator, global artist, composer, and collaborator.
Keywords: Carnatic music; Indian dance compositions; South Indian classical drumming; Konnakkol; India