Chandrakantha Courtney was born in Macchalipatnam on Feb 2, 1954. She began to sing professionally as a child. She was a regular contributor to Balala Karyakramam in All India Radio,Vijaywada, and was attached to Suvartha Vani, Bhavana Kala Samiti, Rasana Samaikhya. In 1971 she enrolled in the Govt. College of Music and Dance (Vijaywada), and trained under J.V. Subba Rao until 1975 when she moved to Hyderabad. She then became an artist with AIR (Hyderabad) and Swara Tharangini. When the TV station was established she then became a regular artist in Doordarshan (Hyderabad). In 1977 she was an artist in the Om International troupe which toured South Africa, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius. In 1978 she married David Courtney, who brought her to the United States in 1980. She has been teaching Indian classical vocal in the Houston area since this time. In the mid 80s she composed the theme music for "Asiana" (Houston Indian community's TV program). In 1990, she became a board member of the Texas Institute for Indian Studies. Since the early 90s she has been an active artist in Young Audiences. In 1992 she coauthored a book on Indian music entitled, "Elementary North Indian Vocal". In 1994 she was awarded the "Artist of the Year" by Asian Women Magazine. It was in 1995 that she gave a number of programs in Germany under the sponsorship of the Deutsch Indische Geselschaft. Subsequently she has given numerous performances in Germany and the UK under the sponsorship of a variety of organizations. In 1996 she was given (along with her husband) the "Award of Excellence" for her artistic contributions in the field of music by the American Telugu Association. Recently she sang for the film "Dancing in Twilight", a film staring Erick Avari, Louise Fletcher, Mimi Rogers, Kal Penn, Sheetal Shet. Recently along with her husband, she was designated as a "Cultural Jewel of India" by the Indian Cultural Centre" of Houston.
Her activities are not limited to traditional Indian music. She is also the female vocalist with the band, "Vani". This is a band which specializes in a genre of fusion called "Raga Rock". Their most recent project is called The Realm of Raga Rock.
It is impossible to enumerate 35 years of her professional career. She is a teacher, performer, and active promoter of Indian culture. She has traveled all over India working hard to maintain the cultural traditions. She regularly performs in elementary, middle, and senior high schools, and many universities to propagate Indian culture. She has performed on countless cassettes, disks, TV, radio programs and CDs.
Chandra and David - (Part 1)
Chandra and David - (Part 2)
Chandra and David - (Part 3)
Chandra and David - (Part 4)
Chandra and David - (Part 5)
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