Classical Arts Society’s Inspirational Tyagaraja Aradhana Attracts Hundreds to MTS

Group Rendition of Sri Thyagaraja’s Pancharatna Krithis

Group Rendition of Sri Thyagaraja’s Pancharatna Krithis

PEARLAND: In the 37th annual Tyagaraja Aradhana held last weekend (Jan 25-26), hundreds of Carnatic musicians of Greater Houston trained at various levels gathered at Sri Meenakshi Temple Kalyana mandapam. This event has been an inspiring festival since 1977 and is influential in turning Greater Houston into a culturally-enriched belt.

The sanctity of Sri Meenakshi Temple has the perfect ambiance to pay homage to the saint. At Tiruvaiyaru (in Tamil Nadu) where the saint lived (1767- 1857) and sang hundreds of his compositions until he attained Samadhi, it is a tradition to have a grand commemorative music festival in which Carnatic musicians of all levels offer their respect by singing Tyagaraja krithis. This festival is held on the day he attained Samadhi. This year the Houston festival followed the Tiruvaiyaru format. Part 2 of this event will be conducted as a two-day spring festival (on April 11 at MTS and on April 12 at Asia Society Texas Center) with world class performers.

The traditional group rendition of Tyagaraja’s Pancharatna Krithis was beautifully led by Vidushi Rajarajeswary Bhat that included dozens of excellent musicians. Dr. Vivek Natarajan performed Sri Rama abhishekam as a reminiscence of the dedicated routine of the saint in the worship of his deity. The two-day event gave opportunities for more than two hundred individuals of varying degrees of training to pay tribute to Saint Tyagaraja by singing one of his compositions. Attendance that exceeded 400 people was very impressive and indicated the community support.

Several excellent short concerts presented brought in varieties of styles and trends, both traditional and innovative. A few short concerts stand out prominently well.

The masterly concert presented by Sridevi Josyula was steeped with tradition. She had a noticeable clarity in every phrase she narrated. The raga alapana of her mini concert was pleasant that brought out each raga’s nuances.

Violin Duet, from left : Karun Salvady, Deepa Ramachandran, Mahesh Iyer, Ganesh Balasubramanian.

Violin Duet, from left : Karun Salvady, Deepa Ramachandran, Mahesh Iyer, Ganesh Balasubramanian.

Padma Saranathan, a disciple of Smt. Suguna Varadachari rendered an aesthetically and technically sound concert. Her spontaneous inclusion of manodharma in almost all the krithis added her own seal within the permitted periphery. It was an enjoyable concert.

Maha Krishnan selectively included popular compositions of Saint Tyagaraja in her concert. Being an accomplished musician, composer, and playback singer, Maha seemed to understand exactly all the factors necessary to make a concert enjoyable.

Chitra Dharmarajan, Neela Chakravarthy and Usha Easwaran enlightened the audience with rare and Sanskrit compositions of Saint Tyagaraja.

Tara Rengarajan, a disciple of Sri O.S. Tyagarajan was very methodical and enriched with bhava in each raga she sang.

The instrumentalists Deepa Ramachandran, Mahesh Iyer (violin), Prof V. N. Shivakumar, Karun Salvady (mridangam) and Ganesh Balasubramanian (kanchira) supported multitudes of concerts. Their superb talent, knowledge and performance added vitality to the entire festival.

Chitra Dharmarajan deserves great appreciation for coordinating this event. Many enthusiastic volunteers made this event possible :- teachers who prepared their students for participation, parents who encouraged their children, stage decoration, front desk management, stage management, sound system control and more (special thanks to Sesh Bala, Prabha Bala and Ganesh Balasubramanian for their invaluable involvement).

Source: Indo American News