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Our Artistic Director
Vinod Venkataraman

Vinod Venkataraman, Music Circle Artistic Director, brings a rare blend of artistic and leadership ability to the Music Circle. Born into a family of rich musical ancestry, Vinod started learning the violin at a very early age from his mother the late, Vijayam Ramaswamy.  Vinod's affinity to the percussive arts introduced him to his first guru, Trichy Raghava Iyer.  He continued his education in mridangam from Palghat R. Raghu, one of the greatest exponents of this instrument.  Vinod came to the US in 1986 as a professor of music to San Diego State University.  Here he collaborated with some of the greatest artists of our times and introduced his blend of music to audiences world wide.  He has performed on the mridangam internationally with many notable Indian and western artists. He believes in the philosophy of heart, mind, body and soul a​nd in his own unique way, imparts the knowledge of music, which he believes is the food for the soul.  A professor of Applied Mathematics, Venkataraman has a passion for imparting his knowledge of culture, music and math in the age old tradition of Gurukulavasam.

Vinod's vision for the Music Circle is to present the classical music of India without compromising the traditional nature of the art form. Over the last few years, Vinod has introduced three annual series called Parampara, Emerging Artists and Living Legends in Concert.

Parampara is Music Circle's community outreach program where music and dance teachers introduce their accomplished students to audiences in Southern California.  Parampara series is in memory of our founders Ravi Shankar and Harihar Rao.


Emerging Artists series as the name suggests, seeks out the new and younger generation artist from across North America, Europe and India and provides them a stage to perform their music with out compromising traditional values. All artists are presented and introduced to audiences in an intimate chamber music setting. 

Each year in April we present some of India's finest musicians from both North and South who have acquired legendary status in their respective fields.  Artists include Padmashri, Padma Bushan and Padma Vibushan awardees, Sangeet Natak Academy awardees and Grammy nominees. These artists have spent every living moment of their lives breathing and living their art.  All of these artists have expressed that they look forward to performing at The Music Circle's prestigious Herrick Chapel. 


Do not miss these exciting live shows.  Come join us and see what is new at The Music Circle.


Board of Directors


Vinod Venkataraman

Artistic Director


Paula Rao



Walter New

Vice President
White Rabbit
Sound Services


Rahul Parikh


Musical Acoustic

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Surya Iyer




Lauren Kozak

Marketing Director

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Dhiiraj Singhal,


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Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy

University of California at Los Angeles

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Raymond Belli

Grants Co-ordinator


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