Recipient of various national and international awards, including the Padma Vibhushan, Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna is a legendary Carnatic vocalist who needs no introduction. Under the guidance of Parupalli Ramakrishnayya Pantulu, a direct descendant of the shishya parampara of Tyagaraja, Dr. Balamuralikrishna started learning Carnatic Music at a tender age of six. At the age of eight, he gave his first full-fledged concert at a Thyagaraja Aradhana. Besides vocals he also has an expertise in playing different musical instruments like kanjira, mridangam, viola and violin. Up to the present time, he has given over 25,000 concerts worldwide.
Dr. S.S. Toshkhani is a renowned scholar of Kashmir's literature, language and culture. He has contributed substantially to Kashmiri heritage and carried out modern research in various fields of Kashmiri literature, history, religion and art. He is one of those rare experts who can read the almost extinct Sharda script and thus has direct access to the many great works of Indian philosophy originally written in the script.
Born in 1956 at Honfleur (France) into a Jewish family recently emigrated from Morocco, from the age of fifteen Michel Danino was drawn to India, some of her great yogis, and soon to Sri Aurobindo and Mother and their view of evolution which gives a new meaning to our existence on this earth. In 1977, dissatisfied after four years of higher scientific studies, he left France for India, where he has since been living. A writer of numerous books including the bestseller, The Lost River: On The Trail of the Sarasvati, he is currently a member of ICHR and a visiting faculty at IIT Kanpur.
Udhav Sureka is a young scholar of Vedanta. After graduating in commerce from Delhi University, he worked in the engineering industry for few years. He came to Vedanta by divine grace and realized its immense value, especially for the young people of his age. He has studied Vedanta in the tradition of Adi Shankaracharya. He has also studied select works of Sri Aurobindo. His effort now is to share the knowledge of Vedanta through workshops, seminars, and talks, which he regularly conducts.
Initiated by Smt Vanaja Nair into Mohiniyattam, Gopika Varma has learnt from various maestros over the years and has performed extensively at various art festivals, sabhas and temples within India and internationally. Her Mohiniyattam is marked by extreme grace and fluidity of movement, transmitting radiance through movements and expressions that at times sigh with nostalgia, purity and sanctity, while being blessed with geometrical precision and technical finesse. Gopika runs a Mohiniyattam Dance School named "Dasyam" at Adyar, Chennai, with a vision to promote and develop Mohiniattam dance outside Kerala; to award scholarships to genuine candidates, to provide teachers' training program in Mohiniattam, to offer medical help to artists and to provide basic facilities to all the performing and non-performing artists by conducting annual events and Festivals.
Pali Chandra is an internationally acclaimed exponent of the Indian classical dance form of Kathak. Highly trained in classical Kathak of Lucknow and Delhi Gharanas, Pali has imbibed a vivid imagination and a sense of rhythm in her dance that is as graceful as it is entertaining and educational. As a performing artist of classical and contemporary Kathak, she was recognized for her outstanding performance and was awarded the prestigious Lachhu Maharaj Award presented to artists who acquire the skill and expertise of 'Abhinaya' – Art of expression.
S. Sowmya is one of the world’s leading exponents of the Carnatic (South Indian classical) tradition of vocal music. She is reputed for her deeply classical style and for her large repertoire spanning a wide spectrum of composers, including some of the rarest works of the Carnatic Trinity. In addition to being an accomplished musician, Sowmya also has excellent academic credentials. She earned a Ph. D. degree in 2012 from the University of Madras for her research work that combined music and science.
Having trained under various stalwarts of Hindustani music, Dr Ram Deshpande is an accomplished vocalist blending elements of multiple gharanas in his singing. An ‘A’ grade artiste of the Indian radio and television network, Dr. Deshpande has commercial recordings to his credit and has presented his recitals at several venues in India and abroad.
Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani is Chairman of the International Centre for Yoga Education and Research at Ananda Ashram, Pondicherry, India. In addition to handling the responsibilities of the Ashram, he is also a Classical Indian Vocalist, Percussionist, Music Composer and Choreographer of Indian Classical Dance. In recent years he has conducted workshops, retreats and has done untiring work in taking Yoga to all parts of the globe.