Friday 27 December 2019

Busy Harikatha artiste; Dushyanth Sridhar

Azhwargal Charithram - this was the theme of the Harikatha discourse that Dushyanth Sridhar presented on Dec.26 evening for Bharat Kalachar at the YGP Auditorium in T. Nagar. Assisting him on stage were vocalists and sisters, Anahitha and Apoorva.

Dushyanth has/had over 17 recitals this December at various venues - and besides Anahitha and Apoorva, his other co-artistes are the Carnatica Brothers and also sisters, Archana and Aarathi. 

His Harikatha/discourses continue in January 2020. A popular artiste with a busy schedule, especially at this time of the year.

A sabha puts out a newsletter for the Season

'Sangeeth Sarathy' is a four-page, colour news-sheet that is being published for the Season by Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha for rasikas who attend its events/concerts at Vidhya Bharathi hall in Mylapore. 

The content is based on events of the sabha here, co-ordinated by R. Revathi and S. Sivakumar, photos by Lingan Studios' Shankar and design by M. Fairy.

The first issue featured conversations with artistes who were honored with the sabha's awards.
Among them was violin maestro Prof. T. N. Krishnan, now 92 and still on the concert stage. 

Here is an anecdote that Krishnan shared -

'My relationship with this sabha is from 1943. I first performed for Semmangudi Srinivasaier and later for Ariyakudi, GNB, Alathur Brothers and Madurai Mani Iyer……. I used to live in a house in Triplicane High Road and this sabha used to hold its concerts in a hall on the third floor of Hindu High School. When the Sunday concerts were set to begin at 4.25 p.m. the concert hall used to get full by 4.15 p.m. People squatted on the floor and used to listen to the concert for three to four hours…'

A city hotel has its Christmas day-long music fest

This is a December Season tradition at Hotel Maris on Cathedral Road, a neighbour of The Music Academy.

Every Christmas day, the hotel hosts a day-long music concerts festival at its hall on the first floor and allows rasikas and its guests to soak in it for free.
So this Christmas day, the day began with a vocal concert by Muthukumar, followed by a lunch break and then, three concerts which ended with a delightful veena-flute-violin concert - on the veena was Mudikondan Ramesh and on the flute, Thyagarajan Ramani.

Coffee and fruit juices were on sale in a corner and since Maris has recently redesigned its very popular restaurant on the ground floor, with a smart look heightened by the soft lighting, this place was packed at lunch time - its meal is a hot-seller.

Monday 23 December 2019

Folk music, dance fest also in the city

This December Season just got a new dimension. A series of folk music and dance performances are unfolding at the Kerala Samajam Auditorium off Poonamallee High Road in the city.

South Zone Cultural Centre, with its operations based in Thanjavur is hosting the Bharatheeya Lok Utsav fest, until Dec.29, 6 p.m. onwards. The launch was scheduled for Dec.23 evening.

The variety of folk is huge - from Lavani and Koli Nritya from Maharastra and Dollu Kunitha from Karnataka, from Kavadi from Tamil Nadu to Thangta from Manipur, from Siddhi Dhamal from Gujarat to Kaliyattam from Puducherry, every evening some 8 to 10 different folk artistes troupes are to perform at this venue, located off the old Dasaprakash hotel campus.

Prof. M. Balasubramoniam, director the the Centre says that over 20 folk artistes have been invited to this festival, the first of its kind. "We wanted to give Chennai a folk festival when the December Season of classical music and dance recitals is also on," said the director.

Music nook in city's new pedestrian plaza

The city has been talking about Pondy Bazaar's Pedestrian Plaza ever since it was launched formally a few weeks ago - a Smart City project of wide pavements with colorful furniture, wall art and avenue trees, electric buggies to transport seniors, 'smart' cycles stands, designated parking and smart street lighting in what is Chennai's hotspot for shopping.

Of late, musicians are being hosted in one inner space on the pavement to give shoppers some entertainment - and so, on Saturday last, in line with the December Season spirit, two kutcheris were held here, courtesy 'Times of India'. One was presented by sisters Archana and Aarati.  This was light music that let the small groups of shoppers soak in a bit and then move on.

Western music gigs have also been held here and more such events are planned.

Friday 20 December 2019

Music Quiz on Dec.29. Register now.

Mudhra is hosting a Music Quiz on Dec.29 morning at its festival venue - Ramakrishna Mission School, Krishna Street, T. Nagar. Preethi Appliances is partnering the sabha and promises prizes worth Rs.1 lakh in toto.

To register, you must SMS or WhatsApp to 9382163330 with 'Music Quiz' typed on top of the message.

Artistes Radha Bhaskar and Gayatri Girish will conduct this quiz.

How to get daily concert tickets for Music Academy recitals

If you wish to buy tickets to the two, back-to-back concerts at The Music Academy, then you must buy them at the sales counter at the Academy, 9 a.m. onwards. 
First-come first-serve basis sale.

Chamber Concert at Musiri House. This Sunday morning.

Musiri Chamber Concert series presents a nagaswaram concert of Desur Selvarathnam and artistes on Sunday, December 22 from onwards 10:01am, at Musiri House in Alwarpet.

This is a chamber concert and rasikas sit on the floor or on chairs. 

Desur Selvarathnam is an accomplished nagaswaram artiste and a torchbearer for the instrument who was trained by Sangita Kalanidhi-awarded A K C Natarajan. He has performed at many prestigious venues and festivals worldwide. 

Open to all. Venue: “Musiri House”, 28/2, Musiri Subramaniam Road, Alwarpet. Tel: 2499 2114 / 94440 28677 / 94444 19465.

Chamber concerts at Musiri House have been held here for many years now, featuring the veterans, vidwans, the stars and the young talented.

Wednesday 18 December 2019

Canteen buzz; lots of sweets, fresh

People who stepped into the canteen on the campus of Narada Gana Sabha in Alwarpet to have breakfast after the upanyasam that goes on in the mini hall here, found that the canteen offers a variety of sweets. Not just tiffin.

One morning's special was appam and vegetable stew.

There are at least five different sweets - from poli to halwa - on sale here. You can also pracel these - sold by the kilo or by units. We are told the sweets will be on offer through December.

A tribute to Mandolin Shrinivas, by his sishya

Young mandolin artiste Aravind Bhargav presented his concert on Dec.16 morning at The Music Academy. This was evidently a high-point in his growing career. 

A sishya os late mandolin maestro U. Shrinivas, Bhargav shared his feelings on social media of the invitation to perform where his guru had held centre-stage for many years. This is what Bhargav wrote -

A dream come true. It's only surreal to think that for close to a decade I used to sit on the stage close to the left side monitor, listening and seeing Shrinivas sir create magic year after year. I only ever wanted to be good enough to sit behind him as a support. To play solo is something I never honestly believed I would do on this holy dais. Guruji and the Universe have been incredibly kind. Truly overwhelmed.

Doyens of dance to perform, interact at art gallery: Dec.19 morning

Timeless - An afternoon with the Legends, is a unique event that has been curated among the few in the run-up to the Natya Darshan dance seminar and dances hosted by Kartik Fine Arts.

This is a coming together of the doyens of Bharatanatyam - Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam, Prof. Sudharani Raghupathy, The Dhananjayans,  Chitra Visweswaran & Rhadha, interact and perform on the same stage at Forum Art Gallery, Padmanabha Nagar, Adyar.

Date: Thursday, 19th December 2019
Time: 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Venue: Forum Art Gallery, Adyar.

Open to all but seating is limited here, so get in early.

Monday 16 December 2019

Music Academy canteen promises specials but city foodies miffed at stiff pricing

There are rasikas who cannot but step out to enjoy a cup of steaming coffee and hailing a friend before stepping into the sabha hall for a concert. 

Long before the Music Academy launched its festival at the TTK Auditorium on Sunday ( Dec.15), the canteen in its campus had a good number of people relishing Mysore bondas ( Rs.80) or khichidi (Rs.70) before ordering coffee (Rs.35).

Being day one of the fest here, Balaji Catering Services who manages the canteen here went tight on the menu but promised rasikas its curd rice (Rs.100) till late, after the first concert here.

We are told that the afternoon sapad meal here is priced at Rs.400 and is a big spread.  

Foodies of Chennai who keep a close watch on the sabha canteens and their menu are miffed that prices are stiff and sharing their disappointment on social media. But many may give in to the temptation of the specials that sabha canteens offer this season. Rarely does one get to feast on such food elsewhere.