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Individual Issues

Vinjamuri Varadaraja Iyengar
Issue : 211
Published on : April, 2002



3 Sruti Box

7 News & Notes

15 Special Feature

45 New Productions

47 On Hindustani Music

49 The Book Shelf

52 Editor's Note

Front Cover: Vinjamuri Varadaraja Iyengar
Photo: Samudri Archives

News & Notes
Prakriti-Theme Of Sharad Vaibhava

The Prasiddha Foundation of Bangalore, held its annual Sharad Vaibhava, 12th in the series, 2-3 January in Bangalore. The wellattended Vaibhava encompassed a colloquium held in the mornings at the Kannada Bhavana and dance recitals in various styles at Ravindra Kalakshetra.

The theme of the Vaibhava was fixed as 'Prakriti - in search of my mother', as a tribute by Prasiddha's leading light Prathibha Prahlad to her mother Prema Prahlad who passed away in late 2001. This was also the theme of the colloquium and of a few dance recitals.

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Special Feature
Vinjamuri Varadaraja Iyengar

Carnatic vocalist Vinjamuri Varadaraja lyengar established himself early on in his life and stayed as a favourite of those rasika-s who preferred to listen to serious music in the traditional mould. He was an all-rounder, proficient in all aspects of concert music. Although he did not capture the imagination of the denizens of Carnatica as did Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, G.N. Balasuhramaniam and Madurai Mani Iyer, he commanded respect like his guru Tiger Varadachariar did and knew how to please the listeners without compromising quality, like his manaseeka guru Ariyakudi Ramanuja lyengar did.

The music he offered was traditional, in the sense he did not transgress the canons of ctassicaf music, hut it was never staid or dreary; it was fired by his manodharma, his creative imagination. Its appeal lay also in the bhava or emotion it carried. He had a sturdy voice that added weight to his music, as did his knowledge and understanding of art music.

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New Productions
Asoka The Great

A soka the Great was the title of a new Kalakshetra dance-drama production.

Why Asoka?

Radha Burnier, President of the Theosophical Society in Chennai, is convinced that the life of Asoka is the best example of reformation, badly needed in today's strifetorn world. Asoka was a great emperor and victor of several wars but, after his resounding victory at Kalinga, he was moved by the sight of suffering and the experience of sorrow. This transformed him and he embraced non-violence as a life principle and propagated the teachings of Gautama Buddha during the rest of his life.

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News & Notes
Brhaddesi Festival & Seminar

An eight-day festival and seminar on the regional music traditions of the North-East, billed as Brhaddesi Sangeet Mahotsav, was held 13-20 February in Guwahati, Assam.

Organised by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, in collaboration with the Directorate of Cultural Affairs, Government of Assam, this event was another in a series of regional festivals, of which the earlier ones were held in the South (Chennai) and in the West (Mumbai) recently. Named after the treatise Brihaddesi written by Matanga, the series of festivals seeks to celebrate, as well as study, the vast and diverse traditions of distinct musical styles and systems of India. Underlying it is the concept mooted in Matanga's work, of different regions practising and pursuing their own unique traditions, each in its own distinctive way.

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