Concert at GTN Award Ceremony
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Concert at GTN Award Ceremony

June 11, 2024

Bhramara Trust is one of the rare institutions known for its altruistic concern for human welfare and manifests by many gestures. Apart from recognising innovative scientists, supporting deserving schools and colleges, it also recognises young talents in music and honours them with prestigious awards like M.S. Subbalakshmi Award and G.T. Narayana Rao (GTN) Award.

On May 25, Bhramara Trust conferred ‘Prof. G.T. Narayana Rao Award’ on the young violinist of Mysuru, Vid. Keshav Mohankumar for his outstanding contribution to Karnatak Classical Music, at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha in Gokulam.

The award function was followed by a vocal recital by Vid. Rajagopala Bhagavathar of Davanagere. He was accompanied by Vid. Keshav Mohankumar on violin, Vid. P.S. Sreedhar on mridanga and Vid. V.S. Ramesh on morching.

Rajagopala is adept in both Karnatak and Hindusthani styles. He runs a music Institute in Davanagere, where he is tutoring many youngsters. He began the concert with a rare Varna of Swathi Tirunal Maharaja ‘Sumasayakavidura’ in Ragamalike, set to Roopakataala. In fact, many of the compositions he had chosen for that day, were not so popular. Thanks to the artiste for selecting them. If not for their efforts, they can go into oblivion.

‘Shri Maha Ganapathe’ (Abhogi-Khanda chapu) by S.N. Ramachandra had a prelude of a short sketch of the raga. After ‘Geetharasikesugunalaye’ (Kalyani-Roopaka) by Oothukadu Venkatasubbayyar, he gave a good introduction of raga Amruthavahini. His fertile imagination and the appropriate tempo which he chooses, makes the listeners to ignore the delicate voice. Keshav too made use of the opportunity and expressed his musical imagination well in exploring the raga. The Kalpana swaras were also enjoyable. The main raga of the day was Gamakakriya (as called by Dikshitar’s School) or Poorvikalyani. Rajagopala did his best to present the raga in an attractive way.

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Needless to say Keshav too was brilliant in his melodious bowing. Dikshitar’s ‘Meenakshi memudam,’ a masterpiece, was perfectly sung. P.S. Sreedhar’s enthusiastic beats on mridanga enhanced the overall effect. Rajagopala concluded with a Bhajan by Surdas ‘Deenana dukkha harana’ in raga Des which was soothing.

Dhanya Dinesh Rudrapatnam’s concert at Ganabharathi on May 31.

A Vibrant and Energetic singer

Ganabharathi had arranged a vocal concert in memory of B.N. Ramanuja Iyengar on May 31 at Veene Seshanna Bhavana. Ramanuja Iyengar had served the Sabha as a Secretary first and  as a President for many years. Young and upcoming singer Dhanya Dinesh Rudrapatnam sang along with C.V. Shruthi (violin), Nandan Kashyap (mridanga) and Harishchandra (kanjira).

Dhanya has been groomed by Vidwan Neyveli R. Santhanagopalan and now is being trained under Delhi P. Sunderrajan. The main feature of her singing is her daring approach. This was evident in her elaborate Kalpana Sangeetha. Combined with this was her energetic singing. This prevailed all through the concert.

The opening varna itself raised many eyebrows as it was set to Chapu tala. A rare varna ‘Sarasakshi’ in the raga Natakuranji was penned by Ponnaiah Pillai. Her next choice was Raga Rama Manohari. A confident elaboration indeed. ‘Matangi Sri Rajarajeshwari’ by Muthuswamy Dikshitar was filled with enthusiasm. A lively neraval at ‘Ramamanohariraakendushekhari Shubhakari’ was so bright and colourful. Shruthi joined hands in adding colour to it. A cascade of Kalpana swaras followed.

‘Prasanna Venkateshwaram Bhajare,’ another rare kruthi in Vasanthabhairavi by Dikshitar followed. Main raga of the day was Karnataka Devagandhari (Abheri) in which she excelled in unveiling the beauty of the raga. Shruthi was also equally good. Mysuru Vasudevacharya’s popular kruthi ‘Bhajaremanasa’ was well presented with Kalpana swaras.

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Thani avartana between Nandan Kashyap and Harishchandra was also good. Nandan Kashyap is a young percussionist who is very promising. One will not be doing justice if he or she takes up RTP at the fag end of the concert and complete it in 20 or 30 minutes. It could have been skipped instead of finishing it in a hurry. Shruthi played the Raga Shanmuukhapriya, while Dhanya sang the Taana and a Pallavi ‘Priyegeethapriyesangeethapriye sadashanmukhapriye’ set to Khanda triputa taala was presented before concluding with ‘Neerada sama Neela Krishna’ in Hindola. On the whole, Dhanya is a very promising artiste with a  lot of potential who can be a shining star.

—Dr. Rama V. Bennur

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