Artist Spotlight: Veena Chandra

by Jul 21, 2022Artist Spotlight

Veena Chandra is an internationally renowned sitarist, composer, teacher, and choreographer.  She is the founder and director of the Dance and Music School of India in Latham, NY, which celebrates over thirty years.  She has been a faculty member at Skidmore College since 1990, teaching sitar in the music department.  Since 2014, she has also served as an Artist Associate in sitar at Williams College or Williamstown, MA.

Born in Dehra Doon, located in the valley of the Himalaya Mountain Range on November 30, 1944.  Veena was inspired to play music by her father, her first Guru.  She continued learning stiar with Shri Satish Chandra, a disciple of Ravi Shankar.  She continued her advanced training under the late Ustad Vilayat Khan Saheb.  Veena Chandra earned master’s degrees in music, ranking third for the entire country of India for a Master’s in Music.  She holds a Master’s degree in sociology and a bachelor’s degree in teaching.  She has been performing and teaching sitar for more than sixty years.

Veena Chandra has received several accolades and fellowships, including a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship for music in 2019.  She has several CD’s to her credit, including two very popular recordings with renowned Pandit Bikram Ghosh (tabla).  In December 2018, Veena received the Srijan Music Excellence Award “in recognition of outstanding contribution in the field of Indian Classical Music”  In 2020, Veena received a New York State Council on the Arts Apprenticeship grant, through sponsorship by New  York Folklore,  to teach North Indian Classical Music to Vibhava Ranade and to her son, Devesh Chandra.

A portrait of Veena and Devesh Chandra, by New York Folklore media workshop participants