All posts by Dr. Saroja Raman

Dr. Saroja Raman is a vocalist who has been pursuing Carnatic music from the age of 7. She has a Doctorate PhD in Music from the Delhi University, India

Grammatical Aspects Of Carnatic Music

Music is universal and is the life line of sublime expression.

Carnatic composer and violinist Dr. L. Subramanian

Carnatic music is basically an application in complete expansion within given restrictions.  An artistic uniqueness is created within a grammatical limits.  Rules of grammar in Carnatic music have not prevented the great writers from producing creative, beautiful works of literature.

A sentence in any language is a collection of words that conveys sense or meaning and is formed according to the logic of grammar.  Similarly, Sruti and Laya are the main grammatical aspects which makes music melodic. Sruti and Laya are like mother and father in Carnatic music.  

Music gets the identity as art form with the imbibing of the highest values of Lakshaya and Lakshana.   Lakshaya and Lakshana of art form are like Sruti and Smriti relationship of sacred Veda, Upanishad, Brahma sutra etc.    Lakshana defines and establishes the form. Abstract nature compelled Lakshana formation for the ease and comfort of practitioners, teachers, students and performers and also for the connoisseurs and discerning listeners.

The Music of India is one of the oldest unbroken musical traditions in the world.  It is said that the origins of this go back to the Vedas. During the Sangam literature, music and dance were the main attraction or entertainment among the mass.  Legend has played significant part in shaping and promoting the role of music in Indian culture. Silappadikaram is the first and foremost a treatise on music. The Puranas were written to elucidate the truths preserved in the Vedas and present them in capsules and modules to the music aspirants.

Ragamala Dance Company – Photo by Hub Wilson

There are 22 Srutis well known in the Carnatic music arena. Creation of raga is made easy with these 22 Srutis and to differentiate one raga from another. Swara is an essential aspect in a Varnam, Kriti, Keertana and other forms of music.  Saptaswara is the universally known syllables in music. Sa and Pa being Achala Swaras, out of 5 remaining Swaras, Ma has two variety and other four i.e. Ri, Ga, Dha and Ni have 3 varieties each. Thus there are 16 Swaras.  Composition in Carnatic music is required to follow prosodic order.  In so far as Tala there are 10 Pranas known as Tala Dasa Pranas. This gives detail characteristics of a Tala structure.                

Music too has diversified into different genres. There are classical Music like Carnatic and Hindustani.  Carnatic music is one of the few musical systems of the world blending a fine technical structure to a profound aesthetic value.  It is a melodic system based on fundamental sounds known as Srutis, which form the basis for the definition of notes, known as Swaras.  Particular sets of Swaras are used to construct melodies known as Ragas. 

Each of the innumerable ragas of Carnatic music is defined by rules of usage of its note called Raga Lakshana including the permissible and forbidden manners of ascent, the Arohanam and descent, the Avarohanam, the aesthetics of transition between notes, the Gamakas and their relative importance.  Shift of tonic is the process by which new Melas can be evolved. 

Mridangam virtuoso Sridhar Parthasarathy

Compositions in Carnatic music possess multiple dimensions.  The aesthetic element refers to the melodic value extended by the raga and its intensive usage with the lyrical aspect. The prosodic dimension describes the technical or grammatical value associated with the poetic meter. The rhythmic element captures the association of the Sahitya and prosody according to the Tala to which a composition is set to. The grammatical aspects in Raga, Tala and compositions are briefly discussed below:

Grammatical aspects of raga alapana:

We are aware that the raga alapana has undergone organized expansion from time to time. However the raga alapana paddhati now in vogue is as per the Matanga’s raga paddhati. There are three main stages of alapana- 1. Akshiptika (introduction) 2. Raga Vardhani (main content of alapana) and 3. Sthayi and 4. Makarini , the concluding part of alapana.

In Akshiptika a succinct form of raga is presented by the musician for making a clear identification of raga by the listeners.

Raga Vardhani which is the second stage of Alapana, has 4 stages – Eduppu (commencement) and Muktayi (conclusion) for every stage i.e. Vidari I-IV.

In the concluding part of Alapana the Arohana Sthayi and Avarohana Sthayi is maintained and Sthayi Sanchara is done with madhyamakala sanchara and in higher octave sanchara and finally concluding with avorohana karma. In some ragas it is concluded in higher octave Sadjam also.

Again while analyzing the aspect of grammar in raga Alapana, the exposition of a raga sung before a kriti is different from the one sung before a Ragam, Tanam, Pallavi.  In both the situation the raga Swarupa has to be shown maintaining the grammatical aspect of raga alapana.  But in for a Pallavi singing the raga Alapana is slightly expanded than singing before a Kriti. This in itself is a full topic for discussion with proper examples. Its quiet amusing that some raga give scope for elaborate exposition whereas some have very little scope. It is observed that the present day artists have made a research even to sing such ragas elaborately giving importance to each swara sancharas within the permitted scope.

Grammar in Tala

The variety of Tala as in Carnatic music is not found in any other musical form. When we discuss about Tala it has 10 pranaas to be followed. Tala is the strength for a composition.  As a hand of clock moves according to a time sequence (rhythm) so also in Tala which has a time frame,  moves around set to the letters. We have variety of Talas like Sapta Tala, 175 Talas, 108 Talas, Navasanthi Tala etc., each has different parts and style of presentation.

Each Tala has angas- Anudrutham, Drutam, Lagu, Guru, Plutham and Kakapadam.  These are taught to the students at the initial stages of learning. Alankaram lessons are very apt to explain these aspects. But all these Angas are not used in a normal Tala. These are more applicable for dance where every small variation can be explained with an Abhinaya.

There are several ways of doing a Tala. Here we count time, and several gestures are involved like joining two hand, counting the fingers, lifting the hands up, turning right and left etc. etc. 

Yathi pattern is adopted in the Kalpana Swaras by musicians which adds beauty to the composition and also the Tala kattu. Similarly different Chaapu Talas have its own attraction and added value to the composition.

Grammar of a composition

A composition has three parts: Padam, Prasam and Yathi.

Padam refer to the sentences in the composition. For e.g. Marukela ra O’Raghava in Jayanthasri Ragam or Sri Saraswathi in Arabhi raga. The compositions are usually set to Adi, Rupaka or chapu Talas.

Prasam – 3 kinds of Prasam – Adiprasam, Anuprasam and Antyaprasam. The pattern of words in the sentences must be uniform. Prasam and Yati both are important.

In Adiprasam the second letter of the first word will be same.

                     e.g. Seethapathe naa manasuna (pallavi)

                            Vaathathmaja dule chenda (Anupallavi)

                               (Kamaas – Tyagaraja)

Anuprasam : the words sound similar in the sentence.

                     e.g. Balakanakamaya chelasujanapari-

                            Balasri Rama Lola vidruta sara

                             (Atana- Tyagaraja)

In Antyaprasa there will be similar sound at the end of the sentence.   

 E.g. Dikshitar kriti in Anandabhairavi –

                   Manasa Guru Guharoopam Bajare –re

                   Mayamaya Hrithithapam    Thyajare- re

Yati denotes the word pattern in a composition. It will be similar to that of Anuprasam in the sentence.

Similarly for a Pallavi, Vilomam, Anulomam and Pratiloman should be maintained.

Thus it is seen that Carnatic music has grammatical rules which needs to be followed.  From the basic lesson (Abhyasagana) to the kriti singing the set pattern of grammar is required to be followed in order to give an esthetic sense and also to add embellishment in rendering.

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Welcome to a Grand Vocal Concert by Shubashree Ramachandran

Shubashree Ramachandran

 

Just because December is done and the ensuing months have come doesn’t mean Music Academy is on hibernation till the next December to come. Madras Music Academy is one of the earliest established music academies in South India. Before the concept of infrastructure was introduced to India in the early 1920s, it was a gathering for elite musicians simply called (and is still more commonly referred to as) Music Academy

Lovers of music and other well-wishers wanted to stimulate interest in Carnatic music in the South and develop a rich culture. The academy had sound planning from the start with an expert committee consisting of some of the leading musicians and scholars to advise the academy on all technical matters. The SPIRIT is still sustained in a very visible and commendable way.

Annual music conferences are held every December to collect all information regarding music, maintain the library and publish a journal. They also help to bring to public notice aspiring musicians and scholars by conducting competitions and other presentations and Great Concerts.

Round the year there are positive activities in sustaining this effort and always significantly innovative and productive.

In this streak of activity comes a nice thematic vocal concert by Ms. Shubashree Ramachandran.

 

Shubashree Ramachandran

 

Daughter of Padmabushan awardee Trichur Ramachandran and Kalaimamani Charumathi Ramachandran both illustrious Carnatic Vocalists Shubashree is also a solo vocalist in her own right.

Shubashree gave her first concert at age fourteen for YACM. To date she has sung for Madras Music Academy, Indian fine arts, Kartik Fine Arts, Krishna Gana Sabha, Bharat Kalachar, Mylapore Fine Arts, Narada Gana Sabha , Sabhas in Delhi, Bombay, Bangalore, Hyderabad and other centers.

She has given vocal support for her mother Charumathi in Australia, USA, and London. Shubashree is a graded artiste of All India Radio and TV. She has sung for Sun TV, Star plus TV, Doordarshan and Bharathi TV.

Shubashree has won many awards and laurels and had performed at the Theatre de la Ville, Paris.

She is a Yuva Kala Bharathi awardee, a Bhavan Excellence and Yagnaraman Excellence awardee. She is also a graded Radio Artist and the student of the world famous vocalist D.K.Pattammal. She has received the Best Junior Musician Award from Music Academy in 2003, from Indian Fine Arts Society in 1998-2000, and from Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha in 2003.

Shubashree had a fair chance of vocal concerts in the just concluded Chennai December Music festival also.

All are welcome to her forthcoming concert at the Music Academy:

“Sundara Narayana” songs about Lord Guruvayurappan
Time: 07:00 PM
Date: 15th February 2018
Venue: Music Academy Hall,
TTK Road, Chennai

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A Double Delight For Carnatic Music Fans in Muscat

 

Fresh from the memory of momentous inaugural concert by Prince Rama Varma, music fans in Muscat are being treated to a double delight by Nadopasana. A totally voluntary organization dreamed up by a bunch of die-hard rasikas of classical Carnatic music, Nadopasana is in its very first year of service to the music lovers of Oman. Encouraged by the support provided by its well-wishers, the organizing team has arranged for two concerts by promising young musicians who are currently making waves in the Indian music scene.

 

Mrs Nandini Neelakantan

 

The concerts, planned for the 25th of March 2017 at the Krishna Temple, Darsait, Muscat, will feature Mrs Nandini Neelakantan in the morning session and Mr Vignesh Ishwar in the evening.

Mrs Neelakantan (nee NJ Nandini of Trivandrum), stormed the Carnatic music scene a few years back by winning many of the reality competition shows on Indian television channels. Blessed with a lovely voice and a matching countenance, she has imbibed everything from her Gurus and created an enchanting style of her own. Yet to be 25, she is already an “A” grade artiste with All India Radio, and has performed over 700 concerts in India and abroad. If her track record is any indication, the discerning audience in Muscat is in for a real treat on Saturday, the 25th March. Her concert starts at 10.00 am.

Sri M. S. Ananthakrishnan

 

She will be accompanied by Sri M S Ananthakrrishnan, the youngest torch bearer of the great Parur style of violin playing, made internationally famous by his grandfather Sri M.S. Anantharaman and the legendary Sri M. S. Gopalakrishnan.

The Parur style emphasizes strict adherence to sruti and focuses on the gayaki style of playing the violin. In recent years, young Ananthakrrishnan has repeatedly won laurels for upholding the trend set by his illustrious predecessors.

The percussion accompaniment for Nandini will be by her brother Sri Nandagopal, already a well-known and much sought after mridangist, vocalist and teacher in Muscat. As a loving elder sibling, Nandagopal has been nurturing Nandini’s career and his presence and support on the mridangam is bound to bring the very best out of Nandini.

 

Sri N. J. Nandagopal

 

The evening concert, scheduled to begin at 6:00 pm, will feature another rising star in the Carnatic scene, Sri Vignesh Ishwar. Born with the advantage of belonging to a musically evolved family, Vignesh has grasped the essence of Carnatic music, which is revealed in impressive stage presence, and confident rendition of alapanas, kritis and kalpana swarams.

Making good use of his technical background (he holds a masters in sound and music technology), Vignesh has been involved in many innovative schemes to improve and preserve the great heritage of classical Indian music. He has a bagful of honors and awards to his credit, and there is no doubt he will leave his mark on the Muscat audience.

 

Sri Vignesh Ishwar

 

Young Ananthakrishnan will be Vignesh’s violin accompanist. It is creditable that Ananthakrishnan has agreed to play the violin for a lead female and male artiste on the same day, as this can be technically demanding.

 

R Srinivasan

 

The mridangist for the evening will be Delhi R Srinivasan, who has an enviable track record as an accompanist to almost all the great vocalists and instrumentalists who have visited Delhi in the last thirty odd years. He has been chosen to accompany many of these artistes abroad on their concert tours, such is his level of understanding the role of a percussionist. Another Muscat boy, Srinivasan is bound to delight the many locals who already know his prowess.

Saturday the 25th March promises to be an exciting day, alright!

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The Festival of Indian Classical Music @ Sunad

 

If Spring Season cometh to Delhi can the The Festival of Indian Classical Music @ Sunad be far behind.

This year’s Musical Festival is indeed a kaleidoscopic pattern, integrating various subtle genres of the Indian Classical Music. It starts with a Hindustani Instrumental rendering by veteran Suvir Misra on the rudhra veena. Suvir Misra is an Indian musician – vocalist, musicologist, and is an expert in the rudhra veena. He is accompanied by Pandit Mohan Shyam Sharma who is one of the leading pakhawaj players of India.

 

Suvir Misra

 

This is immediately followed by a grand Carnatic music Vocal concert by Sandeep Narayan (who has relocated to India from Los Angeles purely for his passion for music) accompanied on the violin by Delhi P. Sunder Rajan and on the mridangam by Delhi M.V. Chander Shekar. So much for the morning session menu for the 18th Mar. Saturday.

Sunday the 19th evening features another Double delight. It starts with a Carnatic music vocal duet by young Kumari Archana and Kumari Samanvi. They are accompanied on the violin by Delhi R. Sridhar and on the mridangam by Vinod Shyam.

 

Saraswati Rajagopalan

 

This is followed by the unique Samvad which is a musical fusion based on the harmonious exchange of musical expressions and rhythms. This is featured by the versatile Veena Vidushi Saraswati Rajagopalan on the veena; Ajay Prasanna on flute; Anil Chawla on keyboard; Anoor Anantha Krishna Sharma on mridangam; Vinod Shyam on tabla; and S. Pranav Dath on rhythm pad.

Saraswati Rajagopalan has the distinction of having featured on all the Sunad events in various formats as Solo, Jugalbandhi, Orchestra/Fusion music and now the Samvad. This is supported and sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the Government of India. All are Welcome.

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Smt. Kalyani Varadarajan – Outstanding Carnatic Music Woman Composer of the Century

Kalyani Varadarajan
Kalyani Varadarajan

Smt. Kalyani (1926-2003), daughter of Sriman Nadadoor Ammal Narasimhachariar and Srimati Singarammal, has been one of the very few modern woman composers of Camatic music of 20th Century. She has the distinction of composing in all the 72 melakarta ragas and also in very rare/Apoorva ragas. Her father Sriman Narasimhachariar who was a teacher, Head Master and then Inspector of schools, was a distinguished poet in Telugu and Sanskrit in Andhra Region.

She had an in-born quality to compose lyrics and set them into music herself from an early age. Being brought up in family of scholars in Telugu and Sanskrit, Smt. Kalyani started her initiation in Camatic music in Veena and vocal at a very early age under her mother and sister and also under able gurus. Thereafter she learnt Violin in Madras. She started composing songs at a very early age on Lord Yoga Narasimha of Gatikakshetrarn – Solangipuram- Tamil Nadu, who was her Ishta Daivata. Her first debut in Veena concert was in AIR Madras at the age of 16.

After her marriage with Sri Varadarajan, who was then working in the Indian Army and then in Indian Railways, Smt. Kalyani shifted to Mumbai and settled there. In the year 1956 she performed in the Maharashtra Sangeeta Sammelan where she was honored with gold medal by the then Chief Minister Sri Morarji Desai. That was the time when she joined All India Radio, Mumbai by invitation in the Camatic music department (perhaps one of the first in that department). During her tenure in AIR, for about 30 years, she has accompanied a number of artists on Violin and has participated in orchestra (s).

Her quest for composing kritis in Camatic classical music in Telugu, Sanskrit and Tamil was ever growing with her. She could compose with ease number of kritis in different rare ragas. Due to her rich study and knowledge in Hindustani Music and her acquaintance with great musicians like Pt. Gajaanan Rao Joshi, VV Jog and others. She was able to sing/play Hindustani ragas effortlessly. This she applied in her kritis also. She has composed a number of kritis in Hindustani ragas like Bahar, Dundubi, Bagasri, Jayajayawanti (Dwijavanti) Gowda Malhar, Jonpuri, Gurjari Todi, Madhukauns, and Chandrakauns.

Smt. Kalyani’s compositions are on different God/Goddess/Godheads in different language. Her Kaanada composition on Lord Venkateswara – ‘Saptagirisam sada Bhajeham’ is a popular kriti sung by many veteran artists of Camatic music. She has composed kriits in rare ragas like Bhavapriya, Bhavani, Yagapriya, Vijayanagari etc. She has composed on Lord Venkateshwara (Saptha Girisham in Kaanada, Maha Venkateswara in Raga Bahudari), Ranganatha of Srirangam temple (Vainatheya Vaahanam in raga Mohanam).

It is understood that she composed songs when ever and where ever she visited a temple. That was her way of admiring and expression of feelings. For instance when she had visited Yadagiri district, Jwala Narasimhan temple, she composed a kriit in the raga Kanada. Similarly when she visited Chamundeshwari temple she composed ‘Chandikeshwareem Asrayamyaham’ in the raga Abhogi. Apart from this she has composed two vamams – one tana vamam in raga Subhapanthuvarali (Pahimam Payorasi Putri) and One pada vamam in the raga Vachaspathi on Raja-rajeswari- This is a Pada vamam is more apt for the dance concert. She has composed a Thillana in the raga Bhushavali and a raga malika in rupaka tala. Her compositions are well appreciated and rendered by many musicians all over. Her works were popularized and propagated by various senior performing musicians like (late) Prof. Sh. T.R. Subramaniam, Tanjore S. Kalyanaraman, Madurai Somasundaram (Somu), S. Rajam etc.

Her compositions carry Chittaswaras, madyamakala sahitya and a careful application of grammatical aspects of Camatic music like Yati, Prasam, Samasam, Vibhakti etc. Perhaps she has followed the footsteps of Muthuswami Dikshitar in her compositions. The words incorporated in the sahitya are of very high order with appropriate usage. She used the Svanama Mudra ‘Kalyani’ or ‘Kalyani Varada’as her signature in the compositions. The mudra blends with the sahitya, as it appears.

Smt. Kalyani Varadarajan had the rare distinction of being a performing musician in three different genres and graded in Vocal, Violin and Veena and has given concerts on the AIR (All India Radio) and also on the stage. She has toured to USA and Japan etc. for concerts during the days when global travel was not all that common like the present day.

Smt. Kalyani passed away on 28th October 2003, and her memories are cherished through her compositions.

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Grand Carnatic Music Recital in Delhi

Neyveli Santhanagopalan
Neyveli Santhanagopalan
The Andhra Cultural & Welfare Society of Delhi cordially invites all music lovers of Delhi to the grand two day series of Indian Classical Music. The details are:

25th April. 2015 (Saturday) at 06:00 PM at the Delhi Andhra/TS Bhavan, 1 Ashoka Road.

Grand Carnatic music recital by

Vidwan Neyveli Santhanagopalan – Vocal
Shri Kalaimamani VSK Chakrapani – Violin
Shri Kumbakonam N. Padmanabhan – Mridangam

Vidwan N Santhanagopalan has distinguished himself with numerous concerts worldwide, and is the recipient of many awards from music associations in India and overseas. He is known for his traditional and purist styles of rendering ragas, musical compositions and swaras.

Ronu Majumdar
Ronu Majumdar
26th April. 2015 (Sunday) at 04:00 PM at the Sri Satya Sai International Centre, Lodhi Road

Grand Hindustani/Carnatic Jugalbandi concert by Pandit Ronu Majumdar on flute & Vidushi Saraswati Rajagopalan on veena. Accompanied by Ustad Akram Khan on tabla and Shri P Jayabhaskar on mridangam.

Pandit Ronu Majumdar is among the more popular musicians on the flute, and is especially popular with the younger generation for his creative improvisations. Pt Majumdar’s music is rooted in the Maihar gharana which has musicians of eminence like Pt Ravi Shankar and Ustad Ali Akbar Khan to its credit.

Saraswati Rajagopalan
Saraswati Rajagopalan
Vidushi Saraswati Rajagopalan is a top graded artist of the All India Radio, empanelled artist with the ICCR. She has traveled widely not only within the country but also worldwide as a Cultural Ambassador for ICCR in exotic places like the Fiji islands, and the reputed Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival etc.

All are cordially invited.

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Sunaad Springtime Music Festival In Delhi

Sangamam_2015

 

Sunaad has organized a two-day music festival Sangamam 2015, featuring a veena, venu, violin ensemble by Vidushi Saraswati Rajagopalan, Vidwan R Thiagarajan and Vidwan C.S. Anuroop on the first day. All three are acclaimed as leading artists of Carnatic music today. Together, their rich repertoire of classical compositions reflects a fine awareness of the idiom of raga and rhythm.

 

Saraswati Rajagopalan
Vidushi Saraswati Rajagopalan

 

R Thiagarajan
Vidwan R. Thiagarajan

 

C.S. Anuroop
Vidwan C.S. Anuroop

 

Rooted in tradition, their music abounds in nuances akin to vocal singing, gayaki ang, rendered with flawless technique, and virtuosity on the instrument with rich tonal quality. Their blend of innovative and interpretative aesthetics makes them sought after artists in their respective disciplines.

They are accompanied on the mridangam by Vidwan Patri Satish Kumar and on the ghatam by Vidwan Thripunithura N Radhakrishnan.

The second day features a Hindustani vocal dhrupad by Pandit Nirmalya Dey and followed by a Carnatic violin recital by Padma Bhushan Prof. T.N. Krishnan.

Pandit Nirmalya Dey established his position as performer and teacher of dhrupad in India and abroad. Inspired by his mother, he started initial dhrupad training with Prof. Nimaichand Boral, who was a disciple of Ustad Nasir Moinuddin Khan Dagar. From 1988 he has taken advanced training from Ustad Zia Fariduddin Dagar, a celebrated master of Dagar tradition.

Prof. T.N. Krishnan, a child prodigy, at a very young age accompanied legends like Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Musiri Subrmania Iyer, Alathur Brothers, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar and Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer. He was a Professor of Music at a music college in Chennai and later he was Dean of the School of Music and Fine Arts at the University of Delhi.

Prof. Krishnan was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1974 and became a fellow of the academy in 2006. He received the Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 1980. Krishnan was awarded the Padma Shri in 1973 and the Padma Bhushan in 1992 by the Government of India. He is one of the few instrumentalists who can provide the rasikas a unique listening experience and create in their minds nostalgic memories of a bygone era.
He is accompanied by Vidwan Thrissur KMS Mani on the mridangam and Vidwan Thripunithura N. Radhakrishnan on the ghatam.

Details:

12th February, 2015 Veena – Venu – Violin Ensemble. 7:00 pm
13th February, 2015 Hindustani Vocal Dhrupad and Carnatic Violin: 7:00 pm onwards.

Venue: Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi 110003

The concerts are supported by the Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India.
All are welcome.

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Sparkling vocal concert by Dr. P.B. Knna Kumar

Dr. P B. Kanna Kumar
Dr. P B. Kanna Kumar
Gayatri Fine Arts, (GFA) Rohini, Delhi celebrated its first Silver Jubilee Function on the 29th June, 2014 at 10 am at the Thiruvalluvar Hall of Delhi Tamil Sangam, Delhi. This was in collaboration with Delhi Tamil Sangam, New Delhi. The event started off with a scintillating vocal concert by Dr. P B. Kanna Kumar, Asst. Professor, Delhi University.

The concert started with a Dikshitar kriti in raga Hamsadwani – Parvathi Pathim followed by a Tyagaraja kriti – Nannukannathalli naa bhagya ma in the raga Kesari also known as Sindu Kannada. This was followed by a Tamil composition of Papanasam Sivan in Hindolam- Maa ramanam. Then a brief kriti Saravanabhava Guhane in the raga Kannada set to Adi Tala.

The artist gave salutation to the god/goddess and god heads through Tyagaraja kriti –in the raga Mayamalava gowla- Vidhulaku mrokeda befitting the occasion. He concluded the concert with a Tamil song of Rajaji – ‘Kurai ondrum illai’. Though just a brief concert of just about one hour and fifteen minutes, Dr. Kanna Kumar kept the audience spell bound with his rich majestic voice and voice modulation.

Hindolam raga alapana was distinctive and had clarity and easy to follow and also learn by learners of music. Mayamalavagowlai alapana and the kriti were very apt for the function. The rendition of this Tyagaraja Kriti was made very interesting with innovative swara prastara, especially with the ample sprinkling of the abhyasa ganam (basic lessons) and was commendable. The concert though very brief, made a very good impact on the listeners and certainly merits another chance for a full time concert. Sri. R. Saravanan (Violin), Kumbakonam Sri. N. Padmanaban (Mridangam), and Sri. Mannai N. Kannan (ghatam) gave able support on accompaniment.

Thereafter the function was followed by an Award Giving Ceremony to 18 artists and persons who have contributed to the promotion of Fine Arts in Delhi region. The GFA also recognized the excellent performance of three young artists in the field of Carnatic music (those who have been selected by the Ministry of Culture – for scholarships) and awarded them with a cash honorarium of Rs. 5000/- each. This is a great encouragement for the upcoming students in the field of music.

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Spring time Indian classical Music in New Delhi

Sangaman_2014All are welcome to the grand spring time Indian classical Music festival being organized by Sunaad for their 2014 Sangamam. The concerts will take place at India Habitat Centre March 22-24, 2014.

Performances include Jugalbandi – Carnatic-Hindustani Vocal duet Dr. Sriram Parasuram and Vidhushi Anooradha Sriram & Party on Saturday, 22 March 2014; Carnatic Vocal by K Venkateshwaran & Party and Carnatic Veena Solo by Vidhushi Saraswati Rajagopalan & Party on Sunday, 23 March 2014; and Carnatic Violin Solo with Vidhushi A. Kanyakumari & Party.

Jugalbandi – Carnatic/Hindustani Vocal duet Dr. Sriram Parasuram

Dr. Sriram Parasuram, one of India’s leading musicians today, hails from a family steeped in musical tradition. He started learning the violin at the age of 4 and as a child prodigy he gave his first public performance at the age of 8. Since then he has given well over 2500 violin solo concerts all over the world. He is also one of India’s topmost accompanists having accompanied all leading vocalists of the current as well as the previous generation. His mother Smt. Parvathy Parasuram is his primary Guru. For Hindustani music he is one of the primary sisya (student) of the doyen Padmabhushan Pandit C.R.Vyas and is now undergoing advanced guidance from Padmabhushan Pandit Rajan Misra.

Sriram is also a noted musicologist and has published papers in many reputed music journals and publications. His lectures and lecture demonstrations in many music forums, conferences, sabhas and universities all over the world have been greatly appreciated. He has been awarded The Best Paper presentation/Lecture Demonstration Prize at the prestigious Madras Music Academy’s Annual Conference a record breaking 5 times.

Dr. Sriram  Parasuram & Vidhushi Anooradha  Sriram
Dr. Sriram Parasuram & Vidhushi Anooradha Sriram
In recent years, along with his wife Anooradha Sriram, he has evolved a most unique and thrilling concert format of the Carnatic–Hindustani Jugalbandhi. Their ongoing weekly music programme on National TV (Doordarshan)-“Ellaame Sangeetham Thaan” (Everything is Music)-has also been an exceptional hit having completed more than 120 successful episodes.

Jugalbandi – Carnatic/Hindustani Vocal duet Vidhushi Anooradha Sriram

Vidhushi Anooradha Sriram, one of India’s leading playback singers, started her music training at the tender age of Six. Well versed in both Carnatic and Hindustani classical music, she is a double gold medal winner at both the B.A. and M.A. levels from Madras University. Anooradha is a student of musical luminaries such as Sri Tanjavur S. Kalyanaraman, Sangeetha Kalanidhi Smt. T.Brinda and Sangeetha Kalanidhi Sri T.Viswanathan. She has also trained extensively in Hindustani music under the veteran Pandit Manikbua Thakurdas. She is also an accomplished Western Classical opera singer, having undergone intensive training from Prof. Shirley Meier in New York, U.S.A. She also has a Master of Arts degree in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University, U.S.A.

She also collaborates with her husband Sriram Parasuram on their very successful Classical Music Jugalbandhi concerts and their Hit TV programme “Elaame Sangeetham Thaan”. She has also anchored many hit music programmes on TV and continues to be a much sought after celebrity judge in Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu TV music reality shows.

Carnatic Vocal: K Venkateshwaran

K Venkateshwaran (also known as Satish) is a highly talented and upcoming Carnatic vocalist from Delhi. He has given multiple solo as well as dance accompaniment performances. He has continued to enthral audiences in India and abroad for over 10 years and is one of the most promising professional vocalists as well dance music composer for Bharathnatyam and Kuchipudi.

Venkateshwaran began learning music at the age of eleven years under the guidance of his mother Geeta Swamy. His prodigious talent was soon noticed by his mother who took him to various other gurus.

Saraswati Rajagopalan
Vidhushi Saraswati Rajagopalan
Venkateshwaran has sung for most of the top dancers of contemporary times such as Padmashri Jayarama Rao and Vanashri Rao, Padmashri Geeta Chandran, Padmabhushan Swapna Sundari, Padmabhushan Raja Radha Reddy, Padmashri Padmabhushan Dr. Saroja Vaidhyanathan, Smt. Rama Vaidhyanathan and several others

As the main vocal accompanist to several dance troupes, he has travelled to China, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil, Canada, London and Sri Lanka.

Carnatic Veena Solo: Vidhushi Saraswati Rajagopalan

On Veena, Vidhushi Saraswati Rajagopalan has been acclaimed as one of the leading Veena artists of Carnatic music today. Hailing from a music loving family, she started rendering solo performances from the age of 12. Initial training was from Smt. Radhamani Sharma of Karaikudi Sambasiva Iyer School and was later trained by Sangeeta Kalanidhi Shri. KS Narayanaswami and Shri TS Raghavani. She is a senior graded artist from the All India Radio, and also in the panel of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. She has been a cultural ambassador of India by virtue of effectively performing in many places across the world. Her versatility is seen in her acumen to perform in various formats like – a veena Solo, a Jugalbandi, Fusion Music, Orchestra etc wherein she has shown her ease and marvel at each genre. She has been featuring in all the events of Sunaad over the years.

Carnatic Violin Solo: Vidhushi A. Kanyakumari

Vidhushi. A. Kanyakumari is a top rank Carnatic violinist who is popular not only as a soloist and as an accompanist but also as innovator and organizer of Carnatic instrumental ensembles. She is creative yet classical and has extended the limits of Carnatic music through various innovative experiments, retaining its core values. She is a great teacher who is friendly and caring guide to her large number of students many of them are now prominent artists. It is rare to find a female violinist with so many roles and achievements.

Vidhushi. A. Kanyakumari
Vidhushi. A. Kanyakumari
Groomed by her Gurus Sri. Ivaturi Vijayaeswara Rao of Dwaram school, Sri. M. Chandrasekaran and Dr. M.L. Vasanthakumari, her vidwat (erudition) is such that even in her earlier days of music life, the great music critic Sri. Subbudu mentioned that her music glittered like the nose ring of Goddess Kanyakumari.

Some of her notable international performances have been at the prestigious Kennedy centre, Washington DC, USA, at Albert hall London, at the famous Jazz festival in Germany along with Sri. Kadri Gopalnath and other Jazz artists and many more.

Details:

Venue: India Habitat Centre

Saturday, 22 March 2014 – 7 PM

Jugalbandi – Carnatic-Hindustani Vocal duet Dr. Sriram Parasuram and Vidhushi Anooradha Sriram & Party

Sunday, 23 March 2014 –

7 PM Carnatic Vocal: K Venkateshwaran & Party

7.45 PM Carnatic Veena Solo: Vidhushi Saraswati Rajagopalan & Party

Monday, 24 March 2014 – 7 PM

Carnatic Violin Solo: Vidhushi A. Kanyakumari & Party

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Melody Day Celebrations in Delhi

Suma Surendra, one of the participating artists
Dr. Suma Sudhindra., one of the participating artists
Veena Foundation and Bharat Veenalaya – Delhi are organizing a grand Veena Festival in Delhi on the 2nd October 2013 which falls on the Gandhi Jayanti Day.

The veena is one of the most ancient string instruments of India. Its origin can be traced back to the ancient yazh, a stringed instrument, similar to the Greek harp. Revered as the consummate music instrument it is named after the Hindu goddess Saraswati, who is usually depicted holding or playing the instrument.

It is very appropriate that ICCR (Indian Council for Cultural Relations) and the IIC (India International Centre) are partners in organizing this Veena Festival. ICCR with its exemplary service in their efforts in sustaining the rich Indian heritage and culture, also show case it both in India and all around the Globe.

The Gandhi Jayanti is celebrated in India to mark the occasion of the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the “Father of the Nation”. The United Nations announced on 15 June 2007 that it adopted a resolution which declared that October 2 will be celebrated as the International Day of Non-Violence and Peace. And what better way than a Veena Festival to venerate it!

Mrs. Saraswati Rajagopalan, a participating artist
Mrs. Saraswati Rajagopalan, a participating artist
All music connoisseurs are cordially invited to attend the grand veena recitals by eminent Veena artists to commemorate this day dedicated to world peace and Harmony. The Organizers are also honoring the following Veena Artists with an award/Title “Veenavadana Shastragna”.

Details:

Wed. 02 Oct. – 10:30 AM Felicitation and Award ceremony at the IIC Auditorium, India International Centre, 40, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi – 110003

Awardees: Vidushi Rugmimi Gopalakrishnan
Vidushi Dr Suma Sudhindra
Vidushi Saraswati Rajagopalan

Wed. 02 Oct. – 1045 AM Morning concert at IIC Auditorium

Veena Recital:

Vidushi Saraswati Rajagopalan. Followed by Vidwan B.Sivakumar.

Wed. 02Oct : 06:00 PM Evening Concerts

At the ICCR Azad Bhawan Auditorium, Indraprastha Estate, New Delhi-1100

Veena Recital:

Vidushi Dr. Suma Sudhindra followed by Vidushi Rugmini Gopalakrishnan.

Festival is conducted in other cities like Chennai, Bangalore, and some select International venues like in the USA, Canada, Singapore, Europe & Australia.
All are Welcome.
RSVP: issaikudumbam@gmail.com (Lakshmi)

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