The Sruti Foundation conferred the E KRISHNA IYER MEDAL on Bharatanatyam exponent & guru Indira Rajan and VELLORE GOPALACHARIAR MEMORIAL AWARD on eminent Carnatic vocalist and guru Suguna Varadachari on February 6, 2016 at Chennai
Parlandu award for Veena Raju
A remarkable event of the season was the Parlandu Award function held at Raga Sudha Hall on 29 November by Parivadini for the second year in succession to honour an instrument maker. This year’s winner was Veena Raju, a celebrated veena-maker from Bengaluru, who received his award at the hands of veena vidushi Padmavathi Ananthagopalan, the Music Academy’s Sangita Kala Acharya and Sruti’s Vellore Gopalachariar awardee a few years ago. An accomplished performer and much loved teacher Padmavathi, who recently lost her husband, made a rare public appearance, because she had been so impressed by Raju’s work through the decades and felt she must be there to give him the award. She was full of praise for Parivadini and its founder Lalitharam Ramachandran for their exceptional initiative in spotting outstanding contributions among instrument makers.
The award function was preceded by a weeklong series of instrumental concerts and lecdems. The lecdems were by Ghatam S. Karthick (Appreciating the role of the Ghatam, Khanjira, Morsing in a Concert), Sriram Parasuram (Gayaka and Vadya aspects of Classical Violin Playing, Gayatri Girish (Pre-Trinity Carnatic Music), B.M. Sundaram (Tavil Legend Yazhpanam Dakshinamurthy) and T.N. Seshagopalan (Meenakshi Navaratnamalika of Syama Sastry). This attempt to focus on instrumental music, the recipient of indifferent treatment over the years, is a commendable effort by Parivadini and Lalitharam.
Singer Talat Aziz’s 1st ghazal single ‘Wo Sham’ released by Artist Aloud
Ghazal lovers are in for a treat as singer Talat Aziz presents his latest single ‘Wo Sham’. The nostalgic themed track is about unfulfilled love where the lover is reminiscing some romantic moments and yearning for his lost love. This latest offering from the ghazal maestro is now available on Artist Aloud, primarily a distribution platform for independent talent and content. The soulful voice of Talat Aziz and the soothing music will make the listeners ruminate on some nostalgic moments.
The song is currently available on Artist Aloud, Hungama, iTunes India and iTunes International. Immerse yourself in soulful ghazal of Talat Aziz on and hear it first on - http://www.artistaloud.com/TalatAziz
The Arsha Kala Bhushanam Awards
Eminent artists were honoured with the Arsha Kala Bhushanam awards recently (L to R) Neyveli Santhanagopalan (C-vocal) -- award received by his wife Meera, T. Rukmini (C-violin), Chitraveena N. Ravikiran, R. Vedavalli (C-vocal), Swami Omkarananda - Chidbhavananda Ashram, Theni, Swami Sadatmananda, Anaikatti Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Shanta & V.P. Dhananjayan (Bharatanatyam), Karaikudi R. Mani (C-mridangam) -- award received by C.S. Subramanian.
The Indo-French Reflection Group organised on the 31st January 2016 in Buc (France) a Conference-cum-Demonstration on the theme of “Notion of Time in Indian Classical Music” in the presence of the Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of India, Mr. Manish Prabhat.
Click here to read more http://srutimag.blogspot.in/2016/03/notion-of-time.html
SKGS Sankeerthana Choodamani award
The Sri Krishna Gana Sabha Sankeerthana Choodamani award was presented to Kanthimathy Santhanam in the presence of the pontiffs of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, during the 15th Namasankeerthana Vizha organised by Sri Krishna Gana Sabha in association with Integrated Academy For Performing Arts and Bhagavatha Seva Trust, on 31 January in Chennai. Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti, R. Venkateswaran, Y. Prabhu and N. Kamakodi participated in the proceedings.
Felicitations to Rudrapatnam Brothers for 60 years in music
The Rudrapatnam Brothers -- R.N. Thyagarajan and R.N. Tharanathan -- are a senior vocalist duo in Carnatic music. Starting with a chamber concert in Mysore in 1956, the brothers have been giving performances ever since, in India and abroad, enthralling music lovers through the decades. Their music is known for its aesthetic appeal and purity, and their erudite rendition of compositions. Their vast repertoire has been a hallmark of their career. Recipients of many awards and graded in the top rank by All India Radio, the brothers were recently nominated to receive the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.
Their students have made plans to honour and felicitate them in a programme scheduled for 16 July 2016, at Vyalikaval Ramamamandira, Vyalikaval in Bengaluru. Dignitaries who will felicitate the Rudrapatnam Brothers include N.S. Krishnamurthy, retired Director of All India Radio, and vidwans R.K. Padmanabha and B.K. Chandramouli.
The event will also feature a flute concert by Amith Nadig, accompanied by Mathur Srinidhi (violin), K.U. Jayachandra Rao (mridangam) and Omkar Rao (ghatam).
Author: Vivek Sadasivam
Father and son honoured for contribution to Tamil theatre
Tamil stage actor-playwright-director, K.S.N. Sundar was conferred the title ‘Nataka Kala Sarathy’ by the Governor of Tamil Nadu, K. Rosaiah, on the occasion of the 116th anniversary of Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, on 14 June at the Sadguru Gnanananda Hall in Chennai. Just a few minutes prior to this, his father ‘Kalanilayam’ K.S. Nagarajan – veteran stage actor and director – was honoured by the Governor, for attaining 100 years and continuing to perform on stage. (He acted in the play Yaar Payyan? penned by K.S.N. Sundar the previous day).
Not many father-son duos have had the privilege of being honoured on the same stage and it was a rare sight for the audience. While the sabha secretary M. Krishnamurthy welcomed the gathering and read out the citations, Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti, President of the sabha heaped praise on both the artists for this unique honour. “Perhaps, this is the first time, or the one and only occasion that such an honour is bestowed upon the father and son,” he declared. The federation of city sabhas had performed ‘kanakabishekam’ on the centenarian a fortnight ago and this was the second occasion that the 100-year old was being felicitated in the presence of a large number of rasikas.
Former Solicitor General of India, Mohan Parasaran felicitated the centenarian for his contribution to Tamil theatre. Tiruppur Krishnan, Editor, Amudasurabhi eulogised the role played by the veteran actor in shaping several stage actors like Poornam Viswanathan, ‘Kalanilayam’ Chandru, Karur Rangaraj and a dozen other artists. He mentioned Nagarajan's innovation in presenting the ‘Janavasam’ procession in the auditorium itself when he staged Savi’s Washingtonil Thirumanam. Nagarajan has produced plays of writers like Anuradha Ramanan, Devan, Sujatha, ‘Marina’, Indira Parthasarathy, ‘Deepam’ Na. Parthasarathy. He brought over hundred artists on stage when he presented Na.Pa’s Kurinji Malar. Krishnan congratulated K.S.N. Sundar for staging the ‘Manikodi’ era writer Swaminatha Athreya’s Anubhava Aradhanai, depicting the life of saint Tyagaraja. In his acceptance speech, K.S.N. Sundar thanked the organisers and all those who had stood by them throughout their journey in Tamil theatre.
Yagnaraman July Fest
Veteran violin vidwan M. Chandrasekaran was honoured with the 'Yagnaraman Living Legend Award' by R.T. Chari, Managing Director of Tag Corporation, on the valedictory day of the Yagnaraman July Fest organised by Sri Krishna Gana Sabha in Chennai. The 'Yagnaraman Awards of Excellence' were presented to Carnatic musicians Ramakrishnan Murthy (vocal), V. Sanjeev (violin) and J.B.Sruti Sagar (flute), in the presence of Krishna Gana Sabha office bearers Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti - President, Y. Prabhu - General Secretary, and R. Venkateswaran - Joint Secretary.
The five-day Pallavi Darbar festival, organised by Carnatica in association with Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha was inaugurated on 29 June 2016 at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai. The festival this year is dedicated to the centenary celebrations of Alathur Brothers. The programme commenced with a listening session of rare pallavis of the duo. Following this was an insightful lecture demonstration by Dr T.S. Sathyavathi on the 'Art of tanam singing'.
It was heart-warming to see a packed hall for an award ceremony. This shows the respect and admiration the students and well wishers have for Chitravina N. Narasimhan, recipient of the Pallavi Chakravarthy title this year. It is indeed a fitting recognition for the Gottuvadyam guru, who also turns 75 next month. Sangita Kalanidhi Umayalpuram K Sivaraman, chief guest for the evening, honoured Narasimhan and presented the award. N. Gopalaswami, (Chairman, Kalakshetra Foundation), Tadepalli Dr. Lokanadha Sarma (musician and scholar), T.K. Ramachandran (IAS, principal secretary, Information Technology Department), were the other guests of honour.
Chitravina Ravikiran had specially composed a kriti for the occasion – Narasimham Upasmahe – in Darbar highlighting his father's achievements. The kriti was ably sung by his students Anahita and Apoorva and supported by baby Akshara (daughter of Kiranavali).
Credit must be given to K.N. Shashikiran for successfully conceptualising and partnering many events like the Pallavi Darbar. This year’s festival has a promising line up for the next four days (30 June to 3 July), which also includes a guided listening session of pallavis from the Carnatica archives, a pallavi competition and a pallavi jam session with young musicians.
Sri Krishna Gana Sabha announces Choodamani Awards 2016
Mridanga vidwan Tiruvarur Bakthavathsalam will receive the 'Sangeetha Choodamani' award, and veteran musician and teacher vidwan B. Krishnamoorthy will be honoured with the 'Aacharya Choodamani' award on the inaugural day of the 61st Gokulashtami Sangeetha Utsavam on 6th August 2016.
R. Seshasayee, Chairman, Infosys and Indusind Bank will inaugurate and preside over the function. Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman will confer the award on the artists. Cleveland V.V. Sundaram and Nandini Ramani will felicitate the artistes.
This will be followed by a unique percussion presentation on the khanjira, mridangam and konnakol by B.S. Purushotham, B. Shreesundarkumar and K.V. Gopalakrishnan.
Melbourne Trinity Festival 2016
The Academy of Indian Music Australia and Sruthi Laya Kendra celebrated the 30th edition of the annual Melbourne Trinity Festival – dedicated to the trinity of Carnatic music – Tyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Syama Sastry – from 27 to 29 May, at Kel Watson Theatre, Forrest Hill College in Melbourne.
Over the years, the Melbourne Trinity Festival has evolved into a space shared in equal measure by talented young artists as well as renowned senior musicians. Much appreciated by all were the mini-kutcheris (lasting about 20 to 25 minutes) by young musicians from the Carnatic music community of Melbourne. The group rendering of Tyagaraja’s Pancharatna kritis by an ensemble of over 30 vocalists, violinists, vainikas and percussionists on the morning of Day 2 was another highlight of the three-day festival. Performances by an array of international artists, including vocalist Bhushani Kalyanaraman from India, vocalist Prof. S. Venkateswaran from Malaysia and vainika Emani Kalyani Lakshminarayan, added distinction to the festival. Yamini Ramesh and Arushi Ramesh, the mother-daughter violinist duo from New Zealand, showcased the Lalgudi bani with finesse and passion.
Melbourne is home to as many as 15 highly accomplished Carnatic musicians originally from India, Sri Lanka and the UK. This year’s edition of the Melbourne Trinity Festival was made possible by the unstinting efforts of Vasumathi Subramanian, Ravi M. Ravichandhira, Narmatha Ravichandhira, Iyer brothers (Ramnath and Gopinath), Jayshree Ramachandran, Adrian Sherriff, Balasri Rasiah, Shobha Sekhar, Murali Kumar, Ahilan Sivanadan, Uthra Vijay and Sundari Saripalle. The active involvement of youth volunteers in the administrative tasks – from stage management to managing marketing and box office – was another noteworthy feature. Narayanan Ramakrishnan, Pallavi Susarla, Athavan Wijeyamanoharan and Prashanthi Sivakumar deserve kudos for their able management of the festival.
In his speech, guest of honour Robin Scott MP, Minister for Finance and Multicultural Affairs, remarked on the great sophistication of Carnatic music and its contribution to the cultural fabric of Australia. He also gave away mementos to senior visiting artists, audio technical director Charles Walker and Jayshree Ramachandran who co-ordinated the congregational singing this year. Other prominent dignitaries present included Anna Burke MP, former Speaker of the Commonwealth Parliament and Member for Chisholm; Stefanie Perri, new Labor Candidate for Chisholm; Chidambaram Srinivasan, Commissioner, Victorian Multicultural Commission; and Abeselom Nega, Chief Executive Officer, iEmpower. Srinivasan stressed upon the importance of integration of music in all dance forms and requested dance educators of Melbourne to incorporate the mass choir/ensemble session of the festival into their teaching curriculum.
Ravi M. Ravichandhira and Narmatha Ravichandhira, Artistic Directors of the Festival, said that the Trinity Festival was recognised as an integral part of Melbourne’s cultural calendar by leaders in government, arts organisations and the wider community. “This event has grown over the last 30 years to become one of the largest festivals outside of India in celebration of the Trinity’s contribution to Carnatic music,” Ravichandhira said. “Melbournians are known for their love of all music and this event is a great opportunity to experience the richness and diversity of one of the world’s oldest classical art forms.”
The Nookala Chinna Satyanarayana Puraskaram was presented to veteran Carnatic musician and teacher Annavarapu Ramaswamy, on 4 August in Secunderabad as part of the 93rd jayanti celebrations of Nookala Chinna Satyanarayana. The award comprises a gold medal, a citation and the title Viswakala Ratna.
A concert by Annavarapu Ramaswamy's disciple vocalist Tulasi Vishwanath was organised on the occasion. As a tribute to Nookala she also included the kriti Ramakatha sudha in raga Madhuvanti composed byhim. She was accompanied by Nanda Kumar (violin) and Jayabhaskar (mridangam).
After the concert Annavarapu Ramaswamy was felicitated by the trustees, dignitaries and members of the Viswakala Parishat. The Parishat was started by Dr. Nookala Chinna Satyanarayana in 1983 to serve the music community. He organised concerts by eminent artists, provided opportunities to up-and-coming musicians, and held music appreciation workshops to enable the public to understand the nuances of classical music.
Theatre veteran Heisnam Kanhailal passes away
Renowned Manipuri theatre personality Heisnam Kanhailal passed away at Langol Tarung, Imphal, on 6 October 2016, following a brief illness. He was 75.
Heisnam Kanhailal was born at Imphal, Manipur, in 1941. Active in theatre from his school days, he joined the National School of Drama in 1968. He established his own theatre group, Kalakshetra, in Manipur in 1969 and has since been working with a wide cross-section of people, including tribals, to create an awareness of the socio-cultural identity of contemporary Manipur through the medium of theatre. He wrote over fifteen plays and directed more than thirty-five, including his most famous Thamnalai, Imphal 73, and Pebet. He received the Manipur State Kala Akademi award in 1983, and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Direction in 1985. He was also awarded the Padma Shri in 2003, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 2011 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016.
Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Awards
The Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Award for 2016, instituted by The Srjan Trust in collaboration with NALCO, was conferred on Guru Kishore Kumar Mohanty (Odissi) and Jharana Das (Cinema) on 9 September 2016 at The Rabindra Mandap, Bhubaneswar.
The Srjan Trust also presented the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Yuva Pratibha Samman awards to four young artists in the areas of classical dances and Odissi music for their outstanding performance. Rajib Bhattacharya and Madhusmita Mohanty (Odissi), P Praveen Kumar (Bharatanatyam) and Rupak Kumar Parida (Odissi music) were the recipients.
The trust also instituted a special award, ‘Nrutya Kala Samman’, which was conferred on Madhubrata Satapathy for her exemplary commitment to the practice and performance of Odissi.
Debiprasad Mishra, Minister for Industries, School and Mass Education, Ashok Kumar Tripathy former member of the Board of Revenue and Manoranjan Panigrahi, Commissioner and Secretary, Culture and I& PR Department, were among the dignitaries present at the function.
Veteran dancer Chitra Visweswaran was conferred the Saraswathi Award by the CP Ramaswamy Iyer Foundation, Chennai, on 30 September 2016. The award was presented by Prabha Sridevan, Former judge of the Madras High Court.
Indira Sivasailam Endowment Award
The RaGa Sisters–Ranjani and Gayatri–were conferred the seventh Indira Sivasailam Endowment Medal and Citation at the annual Indira Sivasailam Endowment Concert on 7 October 2016. The award was presented in association with The Music Academy, Madras. The endowment is an initiative of the Indira Sivasailam Foundation instituted by Mallika Srinivasan, Chairman & CEO, Tractors and Farm Equipment Limited (TAFE) in memory of her mother Indira Sivasailam. The award function concluded with a concert by Ranjani-Gayatri.
126th Jayanthi of Papanasam Sivan
The Papanasam Sivan Rasikar Manram in association with Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai and Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai, celebrated the 126th Jayanthi Mahotsavam of the legendary composer Papanasam Sivan. The week long celebrations commenced on 26 September 2016 at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai. Carnatic vocalist P.Unnikrishnan, was conferred the title ‘Sivanisai Selvar’. The award was presented by R. Nataraj, IPS (Retd.). Sangita Kala Acharya PS Narayanaswami, L. Sabaretnam, Chariman, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai Kendra, V.K. Sundaram, Founder, Sudarshan Group of Institutions and Cleveland V.V. Sundaram, were the other guests of honour.
Vysakhi Award 2016
Veteran dancer and Padma Vibhushan awardee Sonal Mansingh was conferred the Vysakhi Lifetime Achievement award on 22 September 2016, as part of the 9th All India Classical Dance Festival at Visakhapatnam.
MAC Charities Award
The 98th birth anniversary of Dr. M.A. Chidambaram Chettiar, was celebrated in Chennai on October 12, 2016. MAC Charities, presented awards to three exponents in the fields of art, entrepreneurship and literature. Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam was presented the Dr. M.A. Chidambaram Chettiar Award for her contributions to the field of bharatanatyam. Sridhar Vembu, founder and CEO, Zoho Corporation, was awarded the Dr. A.C.Muthiah award for excellence in first-generation entrepreneurship and Tamil scholar A. Arivunambi received the Dr. Rajah Sir Annamalai Chettiar Award for his contribution to Tamil literature.
Renowned bharatanatyam artist Narthaki Nataraj was conferred the degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) by the Periyar Maniammai University , Tanjavur during their 24th convocation on October 15, 2015.
V.P. Dhananjayan appointed Dean
Natyacharya V.P. Dhananjayan has been appointed as the Dean of the Performing Arts section of the Chidambaram Annamalai University which offers graduate and post graduate degrees in the performing arts. Shanta Dhananjayan has been appointed faculty member.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Radha and Raja Reddy, veteran Kuchipudi exponents, gurus and founders of Natya Tarangini in Delhi, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Kartik Fine Arts at the inauguration of the Natya Darshan confest convened by Krithika Subramaniam, on 16 December at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Auditorium in Chennai. Chitra Visweswaran, Member Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Eyal Isai Nataka Manram and L. Sabaretnam, Chairman, Kartik Fine Arts presented the awards. The Madurai N. Krishnan memorial award was presented to Rathna Papa Kumar--senior Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi dancer and teacher based in Houston, Texas. The Nrithya Jyothi Award was presented to US-based Bharatanatyam dancer Madura Viswanath Vijay, and the Natya Sudar Award was bagged by young Bharatanatyam dancer Sudharma Vaidyanathan.
Pappu Venugopala Rao honoured
Dr. Pappu Venugopala Rao, eminent scholar, academician, and writer was presented the title of 'Natya Kala Visaaradah' by veteran artist Vyjayanthimala Bali at the inaugural function of the 36th Natya Kala Conference on 26 December 2016 at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha in Chennai. Y. Prabhu, General Secretary, SKGS and Natya Kala Conference Convenor Dr. Srinidhi Chidambaram look on.