The Nookala Chinna Satyanarayana Puraskaram was presented to veteran Carnatic musician and teacher Annavarapu Ramaswamy, on 4 August in Secunderabad as part of the 93rd jayanti celebrations of Nookala Chinna Satyanarayana. The award comprises a gold medal, a citation and the title Viswakala Ratna.
A concert by Annavarapu Ramaswamy's disciple vocalist Tulasi Vishwanath was organised on the occasion. As a tribute to Nookala she also included the kriti Ramakatha sudha in raga Madhuvanti composed byhim. She was accompanied by Nanda Kumar (violin) and Jayabhaskar (mridangam).
After the concert Annavarapu Ramaswamy was felicitated by the trustees, dignitaries and members of the Viswakala Parishat. The Parishat was started by Dr. Nookala Chinna Satyanarayana in 1983 to serve the music community. He organised concerts by eminent artists, provided opportunities to up-and-coming musicians, and held music appreciation workshops to enable the public to understand the nuances of classical music.
Melbourne Trinity Festival 2016
The Academy of Indian Music Australia and Sruthi Laya Kendra celebrated the 30th edition of the annual Melbourne Trinity Festival – dedicated to the trinity of Carnatic music – Tyagaraja, Muthuswami Dikshitar and Syama Sastry – from 27 to 29 May, at Kel Watson Theatre, Forrest Hill College in Melbourne.
Over the years, the Melbourne Trinity Festival has evolved into a space shared in equal measure by talented young artists as well as renowned senior musicians. Much appreciated by all were the mini-kutcheris (lasting about 20 to 25 minutes) by young musicians from the Carnatic music community of Melbourne. The group rendering of Tyagaraja’s Pancharatna kritis by an ensemble of over 30 vocalists, violinists, vainikas and percussionists on the morning of Day 2 was another highlight of the three-day festival. Performances by an array of international artists, including vocalist Bhushani Kalyanaraman from India, vocalist Prof. S. Venkateswaran from Malaysia and vainika Emani Kalyani Lakshminarayan, added distinction to the festival. Yamini Ramesh and Arushi Ramesh, the mother-daughter violinist duo from New Zealand, showcased the Lalgudi bani with finesse and passion.
Melbourne is home to as many as 15 highly accomplished Carnatic musicians originally from India, Sri Lanka and the UK. This year’s edition of the Melbourne Trinity Festival was made possible by the unstinting efforts of Vasumathi Subramanian, Ravi M. Ravichandhira, Narmatha Ravichandhira, Iyer brothers (Ramnath and Gopinath), Jayshree Ramachandran, Adrian Sherriff, Balasri Rasiah, Shobha Sekhar, Murali Kumar, Ahilan Sivanadan, Uthra Vijay and Sundari Saripalle. The active involvement of youth volunteers in the administrative tasks – from stage management to managing marketing and box office – was another noteworthy feature. Narayanan Ramakrishnan, Pallavi Susarla, Athavan Wijeyamanoharan and Prashanthi Sivakumar deserve kudos for their able management of the festival.
In his speech, guest of honour Robin Scott MP, Minister for Finance and Multicultural Affairs, remarked on the great sophistication of Carnatic music and its contribution to the cultural fabric of Australia. He also gave away mementos to senior visiting artists, audio technical director Charles Walker and Jayshree Ramachandran who co-ordinated the congregational singing this year. Other prominent dignitaries present included Anna Burke MP, former Speaker of the Commonwealth Parliament and Member for Chisholm; Stefanie Perri, new Labor Candidate for Chisholm; Chidambaram Srinivasan, Commissioner, Victorian Multicultural Commission; and Abeselom Nega, Chief Executive Officer, iEmpower. Srinivasan stressed upon the importance of integration of music in all dance forms and requested dance educators of Melbourne to incorporate the mass choir/ensemble session of the festival into their teaching curriculum.
Ravi M. Ravichandhira and Narmatha Ravichandhira, Artistic Directors of the Festival, said that the Trinity Festival was recognised as an integral part of Melbourne’s cultural calendar by leaders in government, arts organisations and the wider community. “This event has grown over the last 30 years to become one of the largest festivals outside of India in celebration of the Trinity’s contribution to Carnatic music,” Ravichandhira said. “Melbournians are known for their love of all music and this event is a great opportunity to experience the richness and diversity of one of the world’s oldest classical art forms.”
Sri Krishna Gana Sabha announces Choodamani Awards 2016
Mridanga vidwan Tiruvarur Bakthavathsalam will receive the 'Sangeetha Choodamani' award, and veteran musician and teacher vidwan B. Krishnamoorthy will be honoured with the 'Aacharya Choodamani' award on the inaugural day of the 61st Gokulashtami Sangeetha Utsavam on 6th August 2016.
R. Seshasayee, Chairman, Infosys and Indusind Bank will inaugurate and preside over the function. Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman will confer the award on the artists. Cleveland V.V. Sundaram and Nandini Ramani will felicitate the artistes.
This will be followed by a unique percussion presentation on the khanjira, mridangam and konnakol by B.S. Purushotham, B. Shreesundarkumar and K.V. Gopalakrishnan.
The five-day Pallavi Darbar festival, organised by Carnatica in association with Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha was inaugurated on 29 June 2016 at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai. The festival this year is dedicated to the centenary celebrations of Alathur Brothers. The programme commenced with a listening session of rare pallavis of the duo. Following this was an insightful lecture demonstration by Dr T.S. Sathyavathi on the 'Art of tanam singing'.
It was heart-warming to see a packed hall for an award ceremony. This shows the respect and admiration the students and well wishers have for Chitravina N. Narasimhan, recipient of the Pallavi Chakravarthy title this year. It is indeed a fitting recognition for the Gottuvadyam guru, who also turns 75 next month. Sangita Kalanidhi Umayalpuram K Sivaraman, chief guest for the evening, honoured Narasimhan and presented the award. N. Gopalaswami, (Chairman, Kalakshetra Foundation), Tadepalli Dr. Lokanadha Sarma (musician and scholar), T.K. Ramachandran (IAS, principal secretary, Information Technology Department), were the other guests of honour.
Chitravina Ravikiran had specially composed a kriti for the occasion – Narasimham Upasmahe – in Darbar highlighting his father's achievements. The kriti was ably sung by his students Anahita and Apoorva and supported by baby Akshara (daughter of Kiranavali).
Credit must be given to K.N. Shashikiran for successfully conceptualising and partnering many events like the Pallavi Darbar. This year’s festival has a promising line up for the next four days (30 June to 3 July), which also includes a guided listening session of pallavis from the Carnatica archives, a pallavi competition and a pallavi jam session with young musicians.
Yagnaraman July Fest
Veteran violin vidwan M. Chandrasekaran was honoured with the 'Yagnaraman Living Legend Award' by R.T. Chari, Managing Director of Tag Corporation, on the valedictory day of the Yagnaraman July Fest organised by Sri Krishna Gana Sabha in Chennai. The 'Yagnaraman Awards of Excellence' were presented to Carnatic musicians Ramakrishnan Murthy (vocal), V. Sanjeev (violin) and J.B.Sruti Sagar (flute), in the presence of Krishna Gana Sabha office bearers Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti - President, Y. Prabhu - General Secretary, and R. Venkateswaran - Joint Secretary.