Jyotsna Srikanth receives 3rd highest civilian award of UK


The violinist was honored by King Charles III with the third highest civilian award for her contribution to music internationally.

Our Bureau


Jyotsna Srikanth became the first-ever Carnatic musician to receive the title of Member of the Order of the British Empire. The violinist was honored by King Charles III with the third-highest civilian award for her contribution to music internationally.

“I really don’t know who recommended me but I feel happy that I got recognized for my good work. The list was announced in August 2023, but the ceremony happened in December at Windsor Castle. It felt special to go there as a VIP guest. The King spoke to me about my work, too; it was a memorable experience,” Srikanth tells us.

Now, the violinist feels more motivated to produce great music. “For 2024, my plan is to work more on stringed instruments. I’ve planned to work with string orchestras and new compositions. I want to launch a Bangalore String Quartet, inspired by the Madras String Quartet. It’ll be Carnatic music with a Western quartet concept. In the past, I’ve collaborated with musicians from diverse genres — right from jazz to Swedish music and more. I also want to experiment with composing,” she tells us.

Other international stars who have been awarded an MBE in the past included Adele, Ed Sheeran and Marcus Rashford. Jyotsna is the most sought after South Indian Carnatic violinist and composer known for her versatility and ability to collaborate with different genres seamlessly and with ease. She has been trained in the western classical system too and has been traveling worldwide, connecting cultures and producing innovative projects.

Jyotsna’s musical journey began at the age of five when her mother and first teacher, musician Rathna Srikantiah, initiated her into Carnatic music. She received advanced training under the renowned seven-string-violin master R R Keshavamurthy. She gave her first concert at age nine. After that, for years, she performed around India both as a solo artiste and also accompanist to young artistes as well as maestros. For example, she first accompanied the Carnatic icon M. Balamuralikshna when she was just 15 years old!

She was invited to perform at Buckingham Palace for the inauguration of the Commonwealth heads meeting in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen of England. Jyotsna has taken Carnatic music to remote parts of Europe and is one of the founders of Dhruv Arts & London International Arts Festival, where she has been curating & presenting Carnatic music to new audiences along with other world music genres.

Srikanth feels her win will bring Carnatic music in the spotlight. “I feel this form of classical music needs more recognition, especially in Europe. I have traveled a lot and have noticed people restricting the genre to just south India. However, it needs a wider audience. To make Carnatic music reach the masses, it should be done in a more contemporary manner. That’s what my aim is,” she wraps up.

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