As a vocalist in the Karnatik tradition, Thodur Madabusi Krishna’s musicality eludes standard analyses. Uncommon in his rendition of music and original in his interpretation of it, Krishna is at once strong and subtle, manifestly traditional and stunningly innovative. He is the driving force behind the Urur-Olcott Kuppam Festival and the Svanubhava initiative, and has been part of inspiring collaborations, such as the Chennai Poromboke Paadal with environmentalist Nityanand Jayaraman, performances with the Jogappas (transgender musicians) and bringing on to the concert stage the poetry of Perumal Murugan.
In 2016, Krishna received the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award in recognition of ‘his forceful commitment as artist and advocate to art’s power to heal India’s deep social divisions’. In 2017, he received the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration for his services in promoting and preserving national integration in the country. In 2017, he has also received the Professor V Aravindakshan Memorial Award for connecting Carnatic music with the common man. His new book ‘Reshaping Art’ published by Aleph Book Company, asks important questions about how art is made, performed and disseminated and addresses crucial issues of caste, class and gender within society while exploring the contours of democracy, culture and learning.