Can we call one a neo classical Carnatic violinist?
If yes, V.S.Narasinhan tops this category of musicians. Son of a Gottuvadyam artiste, V.S.Narasinham of the Madras String Quartet received the Gottuvadyam Narayana Iyengar award for Excellence at the inaugural function of Chennai Fine Arts.
Run by Chartered Accountant P.N. Muralidharan and his team, Chennai Fine Arts is not among the sabhas that race to organise concerts in various slots for a span of two weeks during the season.
Guided by his guru Chitravina Narasimhan and musicologist, scholar B.M. Sundaram, Muralidharan dedicates the festival to vaggeyakaras. And the events and concerts at this festival are educative, informative and brings our the rarity of the compositions and composers.
Standing apart from the crowd in its programmes, Chennai Fine Arts also chose an artiste of an innovative genre of music. V.S.Narasimhan, one of the Madras String Quartet formed the group in 1993 and has been on the concert platforms as well cut a few discs.
The four 'stringists' - V.S. Narasimhan, Hemanthraj Muliyil both violinists, B.J. Chandran, viola artiste and V.R. Sekar, cellist share the music and the rhythm among themselves and a present complete concerts with just strings. But Narasimhan prefers to call them as 'four voices'!
At the award function, N.Murali of The Hindu expressed happiness that more and more young people take to music these days, but said it was paradoxical to have fewer young audience still in the concerts.
S.Balasubramaniam, managing director of City Union Bank which is the main sponsor of the Thyagaraja Aradhana at Thiruvaiyaru observed that the concerts in the mofussil attract huge audience. He felt the city was overfed, while the towns like Thanjavur and Kumbakonam where music reigned once are now starved of good music and music teachers.
B.M. Sundaram spoke on the unassuming qualities of the legendary musician Gottuvadyam Narayana Iyengar, his passion for music and his contribution to the world of Carnatic music.
The concert by the Madras String Quartet followed the inauguration.
Though simple, the music was elegant.
There were typical pieces - Sara Sara samaraika sura in Kuntalavarali and Raghuvamsa sudha in Kadana kuthoohalam, but one could also find intricate sangatis in classical ragas like Charukesi and Chakravakam. The performance by the quartet was complimentary to each other and the team spirit stood tall throughout the concert.
Click here for the schedule of events hosted by Chennai Fine Arts this season.