December 01, 2009

Curtain raiser to the 'season'

Dec. 1 of every year is a date to mark in the diaries of classical art lovers in Chennai and for people who have their base in south India.

The senior citizens who depend on the newspapers for planning their daily rounds to sabhas look forward to the issue dated December 1, from the publishing house of The Hindu. Many people cut out the advertisements carrying the schedule of concerts published in this issue and keep them as reference material throughout the season.

The last page of this special supplement is reserved for the Music Academy schedule for a long a time now. The Krishna Gana Sabha, and Sri Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha used to take a half page either on the front page or on the third page. These adverts used to carry all the information of the accompanists and the theme if the concert has one.

Today's issue has not carried detailed advertisements of many major sabhas, except the Music Academy. The Mylapore Fine Arts Club's advertisement asks the readers to contact the sabha's office for details of concerts.

Did the downturn play its role on the 'season' and the spending on advertisements too? One cannot say so, because the number of concerts and venues and artistes haven't come down.

But, if one looked for every line in today's issue or read between the lines, an umbrella could be found, where all the details of most of the major sabhas in the city are online.
A website promoted by Nalli, a business house known for traditional silk saris, and the person who extends his support to quite a few sabhas in the city, has now become the umbrella.
This site has a brief history about each sabha, their contact info and the schedules of concerts of sabhas including the major ones such as Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha, Nungambakkam Cultural Academy and Sri Krishna Gana Sabha.
You need to scroll down to know who supports this website.
Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd. There you go - The Times Group, who wants to establish themselves in the land of The Hindu in all fronts.

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