Mysore/Mysuru: A book ‘Celebrating the Arts – Forty Years of the International Music and Arts Society in Bangalore,’ authored by Urmila Devi Kotda Sangani, Dr. Indira Brunner Chandrasekhar and Prateeti Punja Ballal, was released at Jaganmohan Palace in city last evening by erstwhile Mysore Royal Family Member Pramoda Devi Wadiyar.
The event was organised by HH Sri Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar Foundation. Pramoda Devi is the President of the Foundation. The International Music and Arts Society (IMAS) was founded by Rani Vijayalaksmi Ammanni Devi, who was the elder daughter of Kanteerava Narasimharaja Wadiyar and the sister of Jayachamaraja Wadiyar.
The vision of IMAS is to promote and nurture the performing and visual arts in the city, and to provide a platform for both Indian and international artistes to perform and exhibit their work. IMAS organises a wide range of events throughout the year, including concerts, recitals, exhibitions, and workshops. It also has a number of educational initiatives, such as a youth orchestra and a series of masterclasses.
Over the last 40 years, the IMAS has worked in collaboration with other organisations such as the ICCR and USIS, and foreign embassies and cultural centres. This effort has enabled a wide audience to enjoy the works of some of the finest international exponents of the performing and visual arts of our time.
In her address, Pramoda Devi Wadiyar said that the IMAS has played a significant role in the cultural development of Bengaluru and it has introduced audiences to some of the world’s leading artistes, and it has helped to nurture local talent. The IMAS is also a valuable resource for students and artistes, providing them with opportunities to learn and grow, she said.
Rani Vijayalaksmi Ammanni Devi left for New York in 1947 as her husband was in the Indian Foreign Service. “There, she undertook studies at the Juilliard School of Music as she was greatly interested in art and culture,” Pramoda Devi said.
Rani Vijayalaksmi Ammanni Devi was a tireless advocate for the arts. She believed that the arts were essential to a well-rounded education and to a vibrant and healthy community. She was also a strong supporter of local talent and she worked tirelessly to promote the work of Indian artistes, she added.
After returning from abroad, Rani Vijayalaksmi Ammanni Devi founded IMAS and in the initial years of its establishment, senior artistes Rukmini Devi Arundale, former External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar functioned as patrons, thereby increasing its stature and popularity, Pramoda Devi noted.
After the book release, Karnataka Police Band rendered selected Kritis composed by the late Jayachamaraja Wadiyar including the famous ‘Kayo Sri Gowri.’