News & Notes
Birth Centenary Of The Late Narumanchi Subba Rao
Sri Sitarama Gana Sabha, Tenali (A.P.), is one of the very few sabha-s in South India completely dedicated to the cause of serving and preserving the purity and chastity of Carnatic music.
This was the mission set for the Sabha by its founder, the late Narumanchi Subba Rao (b.1902), better known in Tamil Nadu as Tenali Subba Rao, whose birth centenary is being celebrated this year. (See Sruti 15).
Subba Rao held—and held on to—the view that music is a manifestation of god: vedaswaroopini, papaharini, anandavardhini, deivadarsini, mokshapradayini, etc.; that music should reveal god; that it should cause a listener to shed tears of ananda or bliss in adoration of the divine. To put in a different way, he believed that music without bhakti is not music at all.
The passing away of Jahnavi Jayaprakash on 27 April in Bangalore, was a severe loss to the world of Bharatanatyam, especially in Karnataka. For, as a singer par excellence who had come to be known as Swara Kokile, she was one of its most precious assets.
Jahnavi was born into a family of musicians and litterateurs on 4 March 1950, in a small town called Gorur, in the Hassan district of Karnataka. She was the granddaughter of Pu.Thi.Na., the modern Kannada literary giant.
She started her formal training in music at the age of eight, under H.V. Venkateshayya of Holenarsipur, and went on to graduate from the Mysore University with music as the major subject. During her student days, besides giving music performances, she was also associated with stage musicals, in which she played lead roles.