Rajna Swaminathan

…official bio is forthcoming…

The Department of Music is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Rajna Swaminathan as Assistant Professor of Music.

Professor Swaminathan holds a Ph.D. in Music from Harvard University’s Creative Practice and Critical Inquiry program and is an improviser, composer, and scholar. Her dissertation – Time, Virtuosity, and Ethics Otherwise: Queer Resonances for Diasporic Play –  represents a productive dialog between scholarship and creative practice.

Professor Swaminathan’s primary instrument is the mrudangam, one of the central instruments in Karnatik music and South Indian dance. As the founder and leader of the ensemble RAJAS, she asserts herself as an artist at the forefront of new intercultural horizons driven by the improvisational sensibilities of South Asian and African diasporic musical practices, creative music, and jazz. As a composer, Professor Swaminathan’s recognition is rising fast nationally and internationally, being programmed and commissioned by notable venues and presenters, such as Chamber Music America, National Sawdust, the LA Phil, and the Bang on a Can Marathon. In addition to deepening the department through her experience integrating cross-cultural inquiry into rhythm and embodiment with queer theory and Black studies, she will join as the fifth core faculty member of the department’s Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology (ICIT) Ph.D. program.

The Department is delighted to welcome Professor Swaminathan to the Claire Trevor School of the Arts and the University of California, Irvine.