Violinist Ambi Subramaniam talks about music and more

Violinist Ambi Subramaniam followed the footsteps of his father Dr. L. Subramaniam and gave his first ever performance at the age of seven. He has already performed in over 100 shows across India and abroad.

Ambi Subramaniam playing at a concertAmbi Subramaniam playing at a concert

Being born in a family where music
was just as indispensable as oxygen or food, the inclination towards this creative art for Ambi Subramaniam was quite natural. Son of violinist Dr. L. Subramaniam and singer Kavita Krishnamurthy, Ambi, got introduced to the world of music as a child and has been nurtured and trained since then under his father for over sixteen years.  He started playing violin at the age of three and when he was merely seven years old came his first ever live performance. From then on, Ambi’s musical career has grown in leaps and bounds. “Music is the only language I know and having such stalwarts around me has helped me tremendously. Every time I’d see my dad practice I wanted to replicate him and that’s how it all started,” says Ambi Subramaniam.

(Photo: GIN)(Photo: GIN)
Just 20 years of age and he has already performed world over. He was part of a special performance at the Gateway of India in 2003, featuring the violin greats Dr. L. Subramaniam and Jean Luc Ponty. Ambi also performed at the special open-air millennium concert on New Year’s Eve 1999 in front of an audience of over two hundred thousand. 

Having achieved quite a lot so early in life, Ambi is very rooted and owes it to his parents and spirituality for helping him stand his ground. “It’s easy to get carried away with all the fame and adulation, but looking at my parents’ extraordinary achievements, mine is as big as a speck. Also, I’ve just reached the point of launching my solo career and I still have a long way to go,” he says. 

Ambi, who is currently pursuing BBM from CMS College in Bangalore, says “Although I don’t get a lot of time to attend classes regularly, I like college because there I get to be myself and I can do whatever I want to. When you are out performing, you have to be really professional.” When asked if he would consider pursuing a career in singing as well, he says “I’m trained in Western and Carnatic Violin and I’m also trained in singing. But as of now, I’d like to focus on my solo career as a violinist. Maybe I’ll think about singing after sometime.”

Ambi along with his family was featured in the iconic song “Mile Sur Mera Tumhara". “It was an honor for us to represent Karnataka. We were so excited and the whole house was abuzz for few days. It was a great experience and I even got to sing for it,” recalls Ambi proudly.  Ambi and his father are known to perform at over 100 concerts world over every year.  Remembering his most memorable performances, Ambi says, “It has to be the one at Chicago open air theatre. We were the first Indians to perform there. We even performed at Royal Festival Hall in London and the experience was fabulous.”

For Ambi, his motivation comes from within. “I don’t think any external factors can help if you are not self motivated. If you are passionate about what you are doing, you are motivated automatically,” he explains. Ambi looks upto late singer M S Subbulakshmi and actor Aamir Khan for inspiration. “I like Amir Khan for his professionalism, one can easily get carried away and do three to four movies in a year. But he sticks to one and gives it his best shot and that’s what truly inspires me,” says Ambi.

When he finds time from music and studies, Ambi enjoys playing cricket and watching movies. Accomplishing so much at a young age, what more does Ambi wish to achieve? “There’s a lot to achieve”, he says with a smile. " This is what my father always says, music is a vast ocean and no one can claim to know everything. The more you sail in the ocean the more you discover and learn. At every step, you realize how little you know. It is an eternal quest," he adds.

Tags: carnatic, violinist dr. l. subramaniam, ambi subramaniam, kavita krishnamurthy, gateway of india, jean luc ponty, open-air millennium concert, cms college in bangalore

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