Carnatic vocalist, composer, collaborator, humanitarian and orator Aruna Sairam has been honored with the French government’s highest honor – Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des.
Aruna Sairam has been selected for this award not only for her singing prowess but also for her contribution to the development of India-France relations.
Announcing the award, Consul General of France in Chennai Lise Talbot Barre said that the Minister of Culture of the French Republic, Rima Abdul Malak appointed Aruna Sairam to the rank of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
“This award is an unequivocal sign of my country’s appreciation for your brilliant career and for your numerous contributions to the French and international artistic scene,” Lis said.
“For more than 30 years you have carried the exquisite beauty and delicacy of Carnatic music in India and around the world. This award thus underscores the friendship you have brought with France.
“Through your performances and your creations you have revolutionized the world of Carnatic music. Through your numerous joint events with French artistes and frequent performances in France, you have greatly contributed to bringing France and India closer and developing cultural and artistic cooperation between our two countries,” said the Consul General.
Aruna Sairam, expressing happiness on being selected for this honour, said, “I am very happy to receive such a prestigious award to fulfill my duty as a musician and inheritor of our country’s rich cultural heritage. It gives me extra responsibility. Keep doing what I am doing. This The award will help me take my work to the next level. I thank the French government for their kind gesture.”
Aruna Sairam began his classical training under his mother Rajalakshmi Sethuraman. Then he met the legendary vocalist Sangeeta Kalanidhi T. became a disciple of Brinda, thereby continuing a distinguished line of women singers in the Tanjore tradition for more than eight generations. Later, he was mentored by several other Ustads of our country.
His music erased geographical boundaries when he was the first to incorporate Western Indian music forms Abhanga into a traditional, South Indian music repertoire. By interacting with national and international musicians, Aruna communicates beyond the regional context, using music as a language of human expression.
Aruna has contributed a lot in imparting her knowledge to students all over the world, not limiting her body of work to performance. He established the Nadayogam Trust.
Aruna Sairam is the recipient of several awards including the Padma Shri by the Central Government and the Sangeeta Kalanidhi by the Sangeet Academy.
He was also elected as the Vice-Chairperson of Sangeet Natak Akademi.
He is also a recipient of the Tamil Nadu Government’s Kalaimamani Award and Madhya Pradesh’s Kalidas Samman Award.
Aruna Sairam has also received the US Congressional Award of Excellence and has received commendations from the mayors of New York City and San Diego.