“This prestigious honor and award is an unexpected one for me. I feel very proud that this country has recognized my contribution to the field of music and dance,” notes Parameswaran modestly.

Parmeswaran is the director of Keerthana School of Indian Music and Fine Arts in Maryland. He trained under the late Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar and T.M. Thyagarajan. A versatile artist, Parameswaran sings in both the Karnatik and Hindustani styles of music. “From the beginning as a musician I never felt that there is a difference in music like North Indian, South Indian, Western or any other systems,” he says.

Thus, his repertoire of performances and compositions includes the Festival of India in Moscow, as well as compositions for dance productions like Meera, Cinderella, Tagore’s Shyama, Tulsi Ramayan, and Kalidasa’s Malavika. He has worked with sitar maestro Ravi Shankar in his musical theater Ghanashyam and was featured in the album Chants of India by Ravi Shankar and George Harrison. Also, for the past 12 years, Parmeswaran has been a staff artist at Bharata Kalanjali, the dance academy of the world-renowned Dhananjayans.

“Music for Indian classical dance is based on different Indian languages, which makes it difficult for the audience to understand the art form in detail; also, the main compositions are in South Indian languages,” explains Parameswaran. Hence, he has started introducing main compositions like varnam in Hindi and even Gujarati. “I am sure that it is going to create awareness in audience for classical dance programs,” he says.