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Maestro's birthday celebrations
Mridanga maestro Madras.A.Kannan's 95th Birthday was celebrated in a grand manner recently at Sivagami Petachi Auditorium, Chennai. The celebration also marked the inauguration of Madras A.Kannan Fine Arts Foundation. Felicitations were offered by eminent vidhwans Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna, Dr. T.V. Gopalakrishnan,Trichur Ramachandran, Dr. Sirgazhi Siva Chidambaram, Dr. N. Ramani, Mannargudi Eswaran. The Foundation also presented awards to Dr. Balamuralikrishna and Dr. T.V. Gopalakrishnan. The function was followed by a concert of Trichur Ramachandran.

Jayanthi Mahothsavam
The 124th Jayanthi Mahotsavam of Sri Papanasam Sivan was celebrated by Papanasam Sivan Rasikar Sangam at Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan, Chennai. On the occasion, the title “Sivanisai Selvar” was conferred on noted musician T.M. Krishna. Papanasam Ashok Ramani welcomed the gathering. L.Sabaretnam, Chairman, Bhavan's Chennai Kendra gave the Presidential address.
Felicitations were offered by Dr.Nalli Kuppuswamy Chetti, Cleveland Sundaram, PS Narayanswamy,
Dr.Prameela Gurumurth and U. Karunakaran. Dr. Rukmini Ramani proposed the vote of thanks. This was followed by a special inaugural concert by TM Krishna.

Tribute to Mandolin U.Srinivas
Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai organized a condolence meting for maestro Mandolin U.Srinivas on 5th October 2014.The homage began with the disciples of
U. Srinivas rendering an ensemble of Mandolin. Tributes were offered by Dr Nalli Kuppuswamy Chetti, Drums Sivamani, Aridwaramangalam Palanivel, Vikku Vinayakaram, Selva Ganesh, Lalgudi GJR Krishnan,
U. Rajesh and Y Prabhu. The speakers as well as the audience were all emotional and none seemed to have come out of the grief of the sudden passing away of the mandolin wizard.
In his address, Dr.Nalli said, “The passing away of Mandolin Srinivas is indeed a great loss to the music world. I remember the immense contribution of Srinivas' father in the making of his career. The first concert he played was at Indian Fine Arts in 1981, when he was just eleven year old. Srinivas also performed in the children's slot in Doordarshan, the same year in the “ Kanmani Poonga.” It so happened that Sri MGR saw the programme and seeing the extraordinary brilliance of Srinivas, he asked why he was being made to play in this slot. Immediately on MGR's instruction, Srinivas was given a direct “A” grade by All India Radio.In 1985, Krishna Gana Sabha honoured him with the Sangeetha Choodamani title and so, the connection of the sabha with the maestro goes back to many years. I also remember a concert of his in a huge ground in Salem, when he was just a twelve year old boy. Somebody came up and asked him to play Manirangu raga. Srinivas was not too familiar with the raga and Sikkkil Baskaran, who was accompanying Srinivas, just showed an outline of the raga. Immediately grasping it, Srinivas then elaborated the raga expansively for about 45 minutes and kept the audience absolutely spellbound. Such was his genius! Just as Thyagaraja said, 'Oka maata Oka baana' , there is only 'Oka Srinivas' for the mandolin !”
Sivamani who spoke next was choked with emotion and said, “Seenu was known to me from his childhood but it was the Shakthi Foundation which brought us so close to each other. I have not been able to recover from this great loss. Our last programme together was at Kanchipuram when I was conferred an award by the Mutt. His humility was unique. I truly miss him a lot.”
Y.Prabhu traced the association of Srinivas with the sabha and said, “ If a senior musician passes away, it is a loss but if a maestro like Srinivas passes away at such an early age, it is a colossal loss. He brought a revolution in the instrument and translated all his musical thoughts and ideas through the mandolin. He was the first to adapt this foreign instrument in Indian music. He had the broad outlook to adapt all systems of music. Our sabha gave him the Sangeetha Choodamani title when he was just sixteen. He was extremely devoted to Paramacharya and Sri Sai Baba. As a teacher also, he was a perfectionist. He really practiced very hard to attain excellence.”
Lalgudi Krishnan said, “ Srinivas always had the zest to learn, in spite of being so knowledgeable. His music was divine and he would render even the most difficult phrases effortlessly with a charming smile. He was truly a genius. His demise is indeed a great loss to each one of us.”
Other dignitaries also shared their tributes to Srinivas and Anuradha Sridhar compered and shared her experiences with the maestro. Altogether, it was difficult for each one assembled at the hall to come to terms that Srinivas was no more. The backdrop with young Srinivas playing the mandolin and Lalgudi Jayaraman conferring the Sangeetha Choodamani title on him was truly heart-wrenching but reiterated that though Srinivas is not physically with us, his enchanting music will live forever.

CD released
Noted violinist VL Kumar released an audio CD titled “Raga Darshini” in a grand function organized on 28th September 2014 by Chennai Fine Arts and Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha at Vani Mahal, Chennai. The CD was released by veteran violin maestro Parur MS Anantharaman and first copies received by M.Chandrasekhar, VS Narasimhan and KS Narayansami. It was indeed a great blessing that Kumar's Guru
MS Anantharaman, despite his age made it to the occasion and also spoke and appreciated Kumar for his efforts.
Raga Darshini is a unique album containing a garland of soothing ragas presented mostly in the alapana format, that too in a slow and unhurried manner. The ragas are presented in three CDs and include Bowli, Sahana, Ganamurthy, Revathi, Dwijavanti, Ahir Bhairav, Kalyanavasantham, Nalinakanthi, Hamsanandi and many more such beautifully soothing ragas. The notes of each raga have been explored well and the calm approach to music makes it very pleasing on the ear. Sans any accompaniment, the pure notes of the violin strike a perfect chord with the listeners and keeps the mind in a tranquil state.
In his foreword to the album, VS Narasimhan says, “Congratulation to VL Kumar for bringing out such a brilliant album of meditative music. This album has many beautiful ragas both from the Karnatic and Hindusthani system and the music flows beautifully like a clear river in a serene valley! The playing is very graceful. Kumar has used the modern sound technology with utmost care while including the 'Octaver”for the electric violin which adds to the dimension of the sound while blending very nicely and the recording has been done with great precision.”
This CD has been produced by RS Narayanswami, an ardent rasika and admirer of Kumar and recorded at Vasantham Communications. The CD is priced at Rs.250 and you can email vasantham.music@gmail.com if you want to order a copy.

Sangeetha Samarpanam
Saraswathi Vaggeyakara Trust and Narada Gana Sabha organized a “Sangeetha Samarpanam” to Sri Shyama Sastri on 11th October 2014.The function began with senior musician Ambujam Vedantham lighting the Kuthuvilakku. A vocal duet by Jaya Mathangi & Jaya Mathangi, a musical feature on Shyama Sastri by Dr.Radha Bhaskar, a vocal recital by Kanaka Durga Venkatesh and a group rendition of the Swara Jathis of Shyama Sastri were part of the event.

Awards conferred
The Maharajapuram Santhanam Foundation honoured Dr. K. Vageesh with its Annual Memorial Award at a function on 20th September,2014. The "Meritorius Awards for Achievements”, was conferred on Sankari Krishnan, Usha Rajagopalan and Papanasam Sethuraman. Trichur V. Ramachandran presided over the function and presented the awards. V. Thiruvengadam and Maharajapuram Srinivasan felicitated the awardees. The award-presentation function was preceded by a vocal concert by Dr. K. Vageesh.

Award for veena exponent
The CP Ramaswamy Iyer Foundation organized a Navarathri Music festival and also conferred the Saraswathi Award for Music to Veena exponent E. Gayathri. The award was conferred by Maharajapuram Srinivasan and Cleveland Sundaram felicitated.

Annual day celebrated
Hamsanadam Music School run by vocalist Dr Subha Ganesan celebrated its 19th Annual day at Dakshinamoorthy Auditorium , Chennai on 24th August. The function was presided over by K.Vaidhyanathan Editor, Dinamani and Nithyasree Mahadevan was the chief guest. A thematic presentation of patriotic songs of different composers was rendered by the students of Hamsanadam under the theme "Ennarum Thaainaadu."

Ashtapadi performance
Swaranjali group from Goregaon East, Mumbai has been giving performance of Jayadeva's Ashtapadi (set in Carnatic ragams) in many places. The group has been trained by Lalitha Iyer, whose mission is to propagate the Ashtapadis by teaching as many students as possible. This time, the group performed at Guruvayoor -Mepathoor Auditorium near Temple premises on 21st August 2014. The performance was well appreciated by a spell- bound audience.

Madras Day celebrated
The members of Madras Youth Choir (MYC) gathered at Natesan Park, Chennai on 16th August to celebrate the 375th year of the founding of Madras in a unique manner. The children's choir and senior choir presented songs on social relevance, human values, civic sense, environmental awareness and patriotism. They enthralled the audience with their music and strong messages.
MYC was founded in 1971 by M B Srinivasan, the pioneer of Indian Choral Music. For over 40 years, MYC has been tirelessly striving to propagate the message of pluralism and social unity through musical harmony with a rich repertoire of over a hundred songs in 16 Indian languages that seamlessly straddle classical, semi-classical, light and folk music genres interwoven with western techniques.

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