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Prabhakara Varma felicitated

On his 75th birthday, veteran singer Mavelikkara Prabhakara Varma was felicitated at the Kalikkota Palace


HE CAN be described as `a mentor of mentors'.

For Mavelikkara R. Prabhakara Varma, Carnatic music is his life. He has striven to pass on his knowledge to the younger generation.

The Sree Poornathrayeesa Sangeeta Sabha honoured Prabhakara Varma on his 75th birthday at the Kalikkota Palace. The function was followed by a vocal recital by the maestro. He was accompanied by Nagai Muralidharan (violin), Prof. Mavelikkara Velukkutty Nair (mridangam) and Thripunithura Radhakrishnan (ghatam).

Prabhakara Varma began his concert with a varnam in Kanada, composed by Ramanattu Sreenivasa Iyyengar. This was followed by a thodayam in Natta, Harihara Vidhiyuthe...

The next presentation was an elaborate Thulaseedala mulache in Mayamalavagowla, which had a comprehensive neraval in the anupallavi, Saraseeruha, and swaras thereafter.

With the audience including many of his students, it must have been a great moment for the singer. Prabhakara Varma went on to render as many as six works of different composers -- Paramathmudu in Vagadheeswari, Sree Balakrishna pahimam in Poorvikalyani, Kalayami Raghuramam in Begada were among them. He then sang raga Keeravani. The alapana was systematic, the vocalist negotiating through the gamakas. The alapana was followed by a Tyagaraja composition, Kalikiyunte, set to Adi tala. The neraval and swaras were heavy but not tiresome. He presentation brought out the raga swaroopa charmingly.

The thani, featuring Velukkutty Nair and Radhakrishnan, was impressive. It was Radhakrishnan's 5,000th concert.

R. V. JAYAKRISHNAN

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