A. RAMALINGA SASTRY
The 36th annual festival of the Visakha Music Academy served as a platform for honouring renowned musicians, who also gave excellent performances.
VELVET VOCALS Singers Viswanadh Parusuram perform during the music and dance festival. PHOTO: C.V. SUBRAHMANYAM
The 36th annual festival of the Visakha Music Academy, which spanned four days, featured vocal recitals by Padma Shri awardee Sudha Raghunathan and renowned vocalist Viswanath Parasuram, a mandolin concert by Padmasri awardee U. Srinivas, all from Chennai, besides a programme by local vocalist B. Arundhathi Sarcar.
The inaugural function, held last Friday at Kalabharati, began with the first-time presentation of M.S. Subbalakshmi Award, instituted by the Academy, to Sudha Raghunathan. The award was given away by K.V.Rao, CEO and managing director of Esskay Foundation Limited, who was the chief guest for the occasion.
Sudha Raghunathan started her recital on a pleasant note with a daruvu (modified version of varnam) in the able company of P. Ramadas on violin, Neyveli S. Subrahmanyam on mridangam and T. Rajagopal on kanjira, all from Chennai. . She maintained the tempo fervour till the end when she concluded the concert with a couple of bhajans and Mahalakshmi Ashtakam.
The second evening started off with renowned mridangam player Guruvayur Dorai of Chennai being conferred the title of Sangeetha Kalaa Sagara. A scholarly recital by Viswanath Parasuram of Chennai marked the evening. He was excellently accompanied by Peri Srirama Murty of Hyderabad on the violin, Guruvayur Dorai on mridangam and local artiste G. Venkata Rao on ghatam.
The next morning on Sunday featured compositions on violin in the North and South Indian traditions in parallel ragas with aalapana by Sriram Parasuram of Chennai. Accompanied on harmonium by noted light music composer, Bandaru Chittibabu, his son Ramanamurthy on tabla and Akashvani artiste Dhanwada Dharma Rao on mridangam, Parasuram made an intense effort, which however did not bear much fruit.
The evening got off with a function conferring the Academy's title on T.A. Kaliamurthy of Chennai, a noted vidwan of mridangam and myladhuthurai (a special form of tavil or dolu).
This was followed by a performance from Mandolin Srinivas in the company of well-accomplished artistes, S.D. Sridhar on violin, Kaliamurthy on the tavil and Tanjavur Muruga Bhupathi on mridangam (all from Chennai).
Adapting a rather fast tempo, he maintained the same tenor right till he concluded the concert. But, the concert over all turned out to be a wanton sacrifice of classical attributes like tranquillity.
On the fourth evening, Sangeetha Vidwanmani, B. Arundhathi Sarcar was conferred the title Sangeetha Kalaasagara. She later rendered an absorbing recital by covering almost all the great composers in the firmament of Carnatic music.
Dr. R. Hemalatha of Chennai on violin, K. Chaitanya Ramesh of Rajahmundry on mridangam and local artiste M. Sridhar on ghatam rendered excellent support.
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