The Season, 75 Years ago
The Music Season of 1933 saw
two organisations conduct
music conferences in parallel.
This was a first, the forerunner of
today’s situation when over 200
sabha-s vie with one another for the
same number of rasika-s.
The Music Academy, Madras, which
had kick-started the season in 1927,
was holding its conference at its
usual venue – a pandal in People’s
Park behind the Ripon Building. The
conference that year was declared open
by Sir C.V. Raman. The President of
the conference was K. Ponniah Pillai,
descendant of the famous Tanjavur
Quartet (Chinnayya, Ponnayya,
Sivanandam and Vadivelu). He was
then working at the Annamalai
University in the Music Department.
His selection sent out two signals:
first, that the Music Academy was
serious about its intention to restore
south Indian classical dance to its
rightful place in society. Ponniah
Pillai was after all from a family
known for its strong dance connections. Second, the Academy was
quite open-minded about the growing
demand for Tamil songs to be given
importance on the concert platform.
Here again, the choice of Ponniah
Pillai was apt, for his ancestors
were also noted Tamil composers.