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Shashank Subramanyam (born October 14, 1978) is an accomplished flutist from India, specializing in Indian classical music. Having displayed exceptional musical talent from a young age, Shashank began performing at the age of 6 in 1984 and has continued to showcase his artistry for over three decades.

In recognition of his contributions to the arts, the Government of France honored him with the prestigious title of Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for the year 2022.

Shashank is also noteworthy for being the youngest recipient of the Government of India's Sangeet Natak Akademi's senior award for the year 2017, and bestowed by the President of India at an investiture ceremony held at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.


Early life

Shashank Subramanyam, an Indian musician, was born in Rudrapatna, India to parents Hemalatha and Subramanyam. His family's ancestral origins can be traced to Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu. Shashank received training in Carnatic music from his father, Palghat K.V. Narayanaswami, and in Hindustani music under the guidance of Pandit Jasraj. Notably, he is married to Shirisha, who is a Bharatanatyam dancer. Shashank pursued his flute playing without formal Gurus and is self-taught. Together with Shirisha, they have a daughter named Swara and a son named Samvit and currently reside in Chennai, India.

Performing career

Shashank, a renowned musician, made his debut in public performance in 1984 at the tender age of six. His journey into the professional circuit began in 1990, where he delivered notable performances in various cities, including Adelaide, Australia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Singapore. One of the pivotal moments in his career occurred when he was invited by The Music Academy in Chennai to perform at the prestigious "SADAS concert" in January 1991, when he was just 12 years old.

Throughout his career, Shashank has engaged in collaborative performances with an array of talented musicians from both India and around the world. Among them are esteemed names like John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucia, Wuppertal and Shanxi Symphony Orchestras, Helsinki Helsinki Baroque Orchestra, The New Jungle Orchestra, Mikkel Nordso, Terry Riley, Ustad Shahid Parvez, Zakir Hussain, Jens Christian, Palle Mikkelborg, Ustad Sultan Khan, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Ronu Mazumdar, Ustad Shujaat Khan, Tejendra Majumdar, Rakesh Chaurasia, etc

His versatility as an artist shines through as he performs in a diverse range of concert environments, including pure Indian classical, symphonies, jazz, films, and crossover projects. Shashank has not only led many ensembles but has also made appearances as a guest artist with renowned bands like Remember Shakti, New Jungle Orchestra, Blue Lotus, and others.

The significance of his contributions was recognized on a global scale, with BBC World TV producing a documentary about him titled "Destination Music" in 2006. Additionally, his performances and interviews were featured on CNN international TV as part of the "Travel Logue India" show.

Shashank's talents have also been honored with performances for several Honorary Presidents of India, including R. Venkatraman, Dr. Abdul Kalam, Ms. Pratibha Patil, and Ramnath Kovind, at the esteemed Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

Awards and Honours

  • Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knighthood) by Govt of France 2022

  • Grammy Nomination for the CD album with Guitarist John McLaughlin for the year 2009.

  • Sangeet Natak Akademi’s senior award of Govt of India for the year 2017 bestowed by Hon. President of India.

  • "Kalaimamani" from the Government of Tamil Nadu - 2001.

  • "A Top" ranking in the All India Radio and TV.

  • Empaneled under outstanding category of Artists in ICCR, Govt of India (1995)

  • "Kuzhal Arasar" in 2003 from the prestigious Kellogg School of Management, Chicago.

  • "Proclamation to the city" award by Cities of Tulsa and Memphis, USA.

  • Rotary Club awards of excellence 1995 and 1997.

  • Asthana Vidwan of Sringeri bestowed Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Sringeri in the year 2000.

  • Direct A grade ranking at his age of 14 in 1993 in the All India Radio and TV.

Countries Performed

Shashank has performed and taught in prestigious institutions in India and over 50 countries around the world including India, USA, China, Canada, Macedonia, Hungary, Bangladesh, UK, France, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Iran, Morocco, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Philippines and Korea.

Style and Contribution

Shashank Subramanyam is an accomplished musician renowned for his expertise in Carnatic classical music and training in Hindustani classical music. His exceptional talent allows him to skillfully blend patterns of improvisation from both music systems, making use of a diverse range of flutes that cover octaves not typically supported by the traditional Carnatic flute. Audiences recognize Shashank for his captivating performances characterized by intricate improvisations, melodious compositions, and pulsating rhythmic variations.

At the heart of his concerts lies the central piece known as Ragam Tanam Pallavi, thoughtfully composed by Shashank himself, showcasing his artistic brilliance.

Throughout his musical journey, Shashank has made significant contributions to the field of flute playing. He has introduced and popularized the innovative Multi Flute Fingering technique in Carnatic Music performances, inspiring flute players worldwide. His distinctive style, effectively reproducing the human voice and addressing challenges associated with traditional fingering techniques, has garnered much attention.

Among his notable contributions are the claw-shaped fingering technique, enhancing the ease of playing fast phrases and producing echo effects. Shashank has also dedicated effort to achieving faster taans across various octaves, intricate slides between notes and octaves, and mastering gamakas. In doing so, he has reduced stress on fingers by introducing easier finger movements. An integral part of Shashank's artistic expression is the harmonious integration of vocal and instrumental styles in Carnatic music, showcased through the sounds produced by the flute. His innovations include techniques for dual octave sound production, incorporating kalpana swaras and Tanam in a unique blend of vocal and instrumental styles.

Additionally, Shashank has honed advanced breath control and tonguing techniques, and he has introduced percussion-like fingering techniques on the flute. As a co-creator, he played a vital role in developing the Shashank style of Carnatic Flute, addressing age-old defects associated with the instrument.


He has released over 80 CDs and 10 DVDs.

  • Mukunda Malini – CD 2021

  • Ardhanareeshwaram – Kumudhakriya CD 2021

  • Venu Vandanam Part 1 – CD 2021

  • Venu Vandanam Part 2 – CD 2021

  • Shashank with Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra – CD 2021

  • Silent Breath by Meditation House Records, Germany 2020

  • WORD'N GLOBAL – A collaborative of Middle Eastern and Indian Music – published in Denmark 2020.

  • Language of Musc, by Shashank, Mike Herting, Paul Shigihara. A live concert held in Cologne, Germany – by Riverside Records 2019

  • Charukeshi – 2016

  • Shashank with Sai Symphony – CD 2015

  • Shashank with Sai Symphony – DVD 2015

  • Seven Continents – Cross over CD with Shashank and Mikkel Nordso – 2015

  • Spirit of Krishna – Shashank and the Folk Musicians of Rajasthan – 2012

  • Shashank, John Sund and Phalgun – Trio Indo Danish jazz CD 2011

  • Gambian Nights – India African collaboration with Kora Player Dawda – 2011

  • RoR Touch Part 2 – a Fusion album – EMI / India Beat Records – 2008

  • Sundara – DVD – 2010

  • Mohana – DVD- 2010

  • Sundara – CD – 2010

  • Mohana – CD – 2010

  • Live at the Playhouse – Copenhagen Jazz Festival – Jazz CD – 2009

  • RoR Touch – a Fusion album – EMI / India Beat Records – 2008

  • Floating Point with Legendary Guitarist John McLaughlin

  • Bindumalini

  • Josh – Live concert held at Saptak, Ahmedabad – CD 1

  • Josh – Live concert held at Saptak, Ahmedabad – CD 2

  • Utsav – Celebrations of Indian Classical Music – Shashank by Music Today – DVD – 2007

  • Enchanting Hamsadhwani

  • Utsav – Music Today Masters of Indian Music – DVD intro by Pandit Jasraj

  • Raag Lathangi

  • Rasayana – Flute and Sitar in a dialogue – CD 1

  • Rasayana – Flute and Sitar in a dialogue – CD 2

  • Margazhi Melodies – Live Concert 2004 – CD 1, CD 2

  • Kalarasana – Live in Chennai – CD 1, CD 2, CD 3

  • MOKSHA – Salvation


  • INTUITVE MINDS- The lute and Bamboo in a dialogue – CD 1, CD 2






  • SAMMILAN – North and South in a melting pot







  • God has many names – Swiss text book CD – 1995

  • Endless beauties from the Bamboo – 1994 – CD 1, CD 2

  • Melodies from the Bamboo Flute – CD 1 and 2 – 1993

  • Melodies from the Bamboo Flutes – Album 2 – 1992

  • Melodies from the Bamboo Flutes – Album 1 – 1991

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