Concerts of cultural appreciation- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The TT Krishanamachari Auditorium at The Music Academy Madras went into silence after the inaugural ceremony. The invitees whispered to exchange conversations about music even as they waited for the musical evening to enthral them. At that precise moment, a violin composition that started on a melancholic note and switched to a euphoric state broke the silence in the room. The audience gradually became engrossed in the swirling musical notes.

“This is a varnam of Lord Ganesha in ragam Kanakangi, set to adi talam, composed by my sister, Akkarai Sornalatha,” explained Akkarai Subhalakshmi. Accompanying the violinist duo Akkarai sisters were NC Bharadwaj on the mridangam and S Karthick on ghatam. The 96th annual concert and conference kickstarted with the flow of melodious streams of Carnatic music.

As a prelude to the inaugural ceremony on Thursday, musicians Vengal T Guhan, Ayyampettai Kesavaraj, Panapakkam G Tamilselvan, and Kancheepuram J Sivamanikandan, performed the ‘Mangala Isai.’ Addressing the gathering, N Murali, president of Music Academy Madras said, “This annual conference and concert holds great significance for us as it comes after a break of two years due to the pandemic. This is also our first full-fledged music festival after chief minister MK Stalin’s assumption of office. A noteworthy fact to be highlighted is that Stalin is inaugurating this festival a quarter century after his distinguished father Kalaignar did the honours in 1996 for the second time.”

The inaugural ceremony was also a stage set to honour Sangita Kalanidhi award recipients who had been making a remarkable impact in the music industry through their contributions. The chief minister along with the Minister for Tamil Culture and Industries, Thangam Thennarasu, presented awards to the musicians. The recipients included Neyveli R Santanagopalan, Thiruvaarur Bakthavathsalam, Lalgudi GJR Krishnan, and Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi.

Dedicating the award to his guru and his mother, Lalgudi GJR Krishnan shared, “I want to thank all of our supporters over the years. To give back to the community that has gifted so much to us, Lalgudi Trust was founded by our guru Lalgudi G Jayaraman in 1979 and is now being continued by us. Violinists in India always had to look outside the country for quality violin-making, repair skills, and services. To change the situation, I invited James Wimmer from the USA to train Indian craftsmen. As a result of this initiative, world-class violins are now being crafted in our country.”

The Academy, since its inception in 1927, has been giving a platform for artists to showcase their works. In an era of striving to find a balance between the demands of tradition and modernity, the guests at the ceremony agreed that it successfully emerges as an institution that does not compromise on classical values.

The chief minister said, “Promoting music is promoting art. Promoting art is promoting our culture. The Music Academy has been promoting the music of our land for years through its activities. This should be seen as a celebration of our culture.” The festival is all set to take over the hearts of musicians and music lovers of the city in this month of Margazhi.

Concerts will be held till January 1, 2023. For schedule and other details,visit:

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