Sikkil C. Gurucharan (born on June 21, 1982) is among the foremost young performing musicians of Carnatic music in India today. He is the grandson of Sikkil Kunjumani, elder of the internationally acclaimed flautists the Sikkil Sisters. Gurucharan has been under the tutelage Vaigal Shri S. Gnanaskandan and is currently being mentored by Shri B. Krishnamurthy. He is an 'A' grade All India Radio artist. The magazine India Today featured him among 35 Game Changers Under (the age of) 35 in India, a list of young achievers from different walks of life.Early life
Around 1987, as a 5-year-old, Gurucharan was casually coaxed by his grandmothers, the Sikkil Sisters, to sing some tune. After a little cajoling, he sang a popular film song. The sisters, especially Smt. Neela, were amazed at the "sruthi sudhham" or tonal perfection in his singing and also the near-perfect alignment of the notes. Together they decided that he must pursue vocal music. Almost every second member in the family had been trained in flute. But they were insistent that this boy should pursue singing, especially since he had shown immense promise at that age.
This was how Gurucharan made his initial forays into Carnatic music. Soon after the initiation, his family had to shift base to Hyderabad. At this juncture, his mother Mythili Chandrasekaran decided to impart the bala padam (initial exercises) and popular songs like Mudhaakaratha modhakam, Madhuraashtakam and Kurai ondrum illai among others. He began to involuntarily register the lessons that his sister learnt to play in the flute as well.
In 1990, the family returned to Chennai and the Sikkil Sisters wasted no time in ensuring that Gurucharan began serious music training under the aegis of Vaigal Shri S. Gnanaskandan, disciple of Dandapani Desikar and Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer. Guru Gnanaskandan was then the producer of All India Radio. Being a strict disciplinarian, Gnanaskandan ensured that Gurucharan took music seriously, especially when the people at home had created an ambience filled with Carnatic music to build his interest in singing.
Education and initial career
Sikkil Gurucharan was a student of Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Mylapore, a premier institution where music was a part of the curriculum. This school was and continues to be known for encouraging cultural art forms. In his very first year at school Gurucharan won the first prize in an inter-class music competition. This was a turning point for him then because the boy was thrilled by the accolades and recognition he received among teachers and fellow students. It made him think about music with a degree of seriousness. From then on, all through school, he seldom missed a chance to exhibit his talent and the response, in his own words "improved and refined the inherent talent in music, further."
Gurucharan passed out of Vidya Mandir as the Best Outgoing Student in recognition of his achievements as an all-rounder. Following this, he enrolled himself at the prestigious Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda College which became integral to him pursuing music as a career due to the encouragement he received from all sides.On the music front, by now he was more in tune with concert-related techniques and had begun singing during the Madras Music Season. The professors at college were knowledgeable in Carnatic music and were very supportive of his development. In 2002, Gurucharan passed out of this college with a gold medal for excellence in academics and was awarded the Best Outgoing Student once again.
By this time, Gurucharan had realized that his destiny was to pursue music. Regular outstation concerts and other assignments forced him to further his education through correspondence. He completed his masters degree in Financial Management from Loyola College, Chennai in 2004.
After completing post-graduation, Sikkil Gurucharan did a brief stint as a radio jockey at Worldspace Radio. In this profile, he was in-charge of presenting programmes, interviewing artists and doing voice-overs for the 24-hour Carnatic music channel "Shruti". Later when the channel shifted base from Chennai to Bangalore, Gurucharan decided to stay in Chennai, the seat of Carnatic music and pursue his passion.Vocational Excellence Award - Rotary Club of Madras Downtown 2012Isai Peroli - Kartik Fine Arts 2012Ritz Youth Icon Award - Ritz Magazine 2012Thandava Sangeetha Bharathi - Gopalakrishna Bharathi Festival Committee 2012Nedunuri Krishnamurthi Puraskar - Visakha Music Academy 2011Yagnaraman Award of Excellence - Sri Krishna Gana Sabha 2010CMANA MLV Award for Best young Musician Narada Gana Sabha 2008Nada Sri Sa Ri Ga Ma Pa Da Ni Foundation 2008Best Concert of the season Indian Fine Arts Society 2008Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar - Sangeet Natak Akademi 2007Shanmukha Sironmani Award - Sri Shanmukhananda Sabha, Mumbai 2007Tchaikovsky Award for the best young musician of the year - Russian Cultural Center 2006Yuva Kala Bharathi - Bharat Kalachar 2005Isai Chudar Kartik Fine Arts - 2005Naada Oli - Naada Inbam 2005Best Vocalist proficient in all aspects of Music - Indian Fine Arts 2005TAG corporation's Ramabhadran Centenary Award for most promising young artiste of the year TAG Corporation 2005Kalki Memorial Award - Kalki Memorial Trust 2005Dharmatma memorial Award Raja Annamalaipuram Sabha 2005Swarna Venkatesha Dikshitar award Music Academy Conference - 2004, 2003, 2002Best Concert - Music Academy Conference 2003Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer award for best raga renditions - Sri Krishna Gana Sabha 2002Best Performer in Sub Senior Category during Music Season Indian Fine Arts Society 2002Best Vocalist Award Sri Krishna Gana Sabha 2000Special Talent Award Thyaga Bramha Gana Sabha 1997Sangeetha Bhaskara Gnanaskandan Trust 1994
He has also won several prizes in the competitions held at Music Academy, Narada Gana Sabha, Mylapore Fine Arts etc. during the years 1995–1999
Personal Life :
Sikkil Gurucharan's mother Mythili, the daughter of Sikkil Kunjumani is a retired flute teacher from the Government Music College, Chennai. His father Chandrasekaran, a consultant with a leading pharmaceutical distribution firm, is a popular Tamil theatre artist who has also done cameo roles in films like Sivaji. Gurucharan married Janani Lakshminarayan on May 23, 2010 and the couple resides in Chennai. His maternal aunt Sikkil Mala Chandrasekar is an acclaimed flautist and is married to Chandrasekar, grand son of the legendary singer M. S. Subbulakshmi.