November 22, 2011

Ushering the 2011 Music Season

by ........ Sivapriya Krishnan


The Madras Music Academy, to repeat ad nauseam, is the "Mecca" of music in the cultural map of South Indian classical music. The Music season actually starts only when the Academy starts, however much other institutions may have started. The Academy being what it is, has a stiff twin objective to meet in providing for the entertainment value without shortchanging the content.

Artists are in queue to get a slot to sing and more so in queue to get onto the next senior slot, which actually tells the public about their elevated status. The Academy was one of the earliest,probably one of the first to announce the schedule of concerts for this December season of 2011.

The schedule of concerts did reveal the meaning of one old adage : " the old order changeth, yielding place to new" !

The seniors have given place to the juniors, the veterans have given place to the seniors, fathers have given place to sons/ daughters, senior disciples have given place to junior disciples while some have remained untouched .

Keeping with the tradition of an inaugural concert by a Sangita Kalanidhi,this time the series begins with Smt.R.Vedavalli. The morning slots, traditionally a veterans' bastion sees the inclusion for the first time of the maestro-veteran Sri.T.N.Seshagopalan. TNS Krishna sings in the evening for the first time this year. Young ladies doing Harikatha have always attracted huge crowds and this year the morning has been handed over to young Suchitra, grand-daughter of the veteran Harikatha artist Kamala Murthy. Neyveli Santhanagopalan sings in the morning and his daughter Sriranjani in the afternoon.

Artists like Shertalai Ranganatha Sharma and Manda Sudharani have proved over the years and plodded their way into the evening senior bastion. The shining stars among the young seniors like Gayatri Venkatraghavan, Sikkil Gurucharan, Abhishek Raghuram, Savita Narasimhan have got their due. The senior seniors like Sanjay Subramaniam, Vijay Siva, Unnikrishnan, TM Krishna have their places intact. The "senior ladies quartette", comprising Bombay Jayasree, Nityasree, Sudha Raghunathan andd Aruna Sairam, who continue to attract large crowds and good gate collections have their places intact and remain untouched. Some new juniors have been given a warm welcome to prove thier mettle.

Just as it is important for any musician to be slotted in the Academy, it is also a dauntingly important task for the programming committee at the Academy to balance the schedule , keeping in mind the need for

(a) attracting new talent,
(b) preserving veteran art,
(c) encouraging and promoting juniors to seniors and shaping them for posterity
(d) balancing entertainment and economic viability through gate collections

all with utmost impartial judgement and clear substantiation.

In this the Academy officials as organisers have proved that with ample thought and clear thinking, a well balanced schedule can be drawn which meets up with most requirement parameters on hand. Lets usher in the season of 2011!

1 comment:

Ram Ram said...

Nice to see the huge list and the fresh entry of yourng talent. However bound to give a small clarification. TNS giving way for his son to sing in the prime slot? It is common knowledge that in the Music Academy no artist has a choice to choose his slot or to ask a place for his son or disciple or whomsoever. One has to prove ones merit to sing there. It is still THE MUSIC ACADEMY and not a MUSICAL CHAIR.
Same way Was Neyveli Santhanagopalan singing in the tweleve O' clock slot to give way for his daughter to sing?? Whether Neyveli,or x or y or z, it is only in the hands of the artists who sing to prove their mettle and earn their slots by pure merit.
Smt Vedavalli has been singing in the morning slot for a long time now. Is it possible for her to make her daughter sing in the evening?? or for that matter can T.V.Shankaranarayanan,who is (also) incidentally moved to the morning slot this year along with TNS. ask his son or daughter (who are accomplished singers) to take his place in the evening??
Your obeservation sounds highly idiotic and baseless.