Swathi Swaminathan


Woman playing the tanpura on stage

I am currently training in the Dagarvani dhrupad gayaki of Hindustani vocal music with the renowned singer and leading exponent of the style, Pandit Uday Bhawalkar. Here’s a nice demonstration of a beautiful Dhrupad alaap improvised in the raga Miyan ki Malhar.

Before this, I trained in the khayal gayaki of Hindustani music in the Mewati gharana tradition with Dr. Amit Arya. As part of my own training in the Mewati tradition, I also taught students early in their training.

Although my recent and ongoing training is in North Indian classical styles of music, I was initially immersed in South Indian classical arts, including Carnatic singing and Bharatnatyam dance, as a child. For a while, I performed and recorded a good deal in jazz, blues and pop/rock styles of Western music, and even briefly studied for a certificate in Western music theory from the Berklee College of Music. During my years as an undergraduate, I competed as a solo vocalist and with an A cappella group “Acoustic Chutney” in inter-university competitions in India. Acoustic Chutney won 9 city-level (Bangalore) and 2 national-level (India) competitions and were runners-up in 2 city-level competitions. As a solo vocalist, I won 3 city-level and 1 national-level competitions, and was runner-up in 1 city-level competition. You’ll find some media coverage for my singing from this time here, here and here.