About Us Contact Us Help




Triple Play Concerts At Chinmaya Mission

Deepti Navaratna

(This article is sponsored by Masala Art)

Chinmaya Mission Boston presented a tri-series of Carnatic Classical
music concerts on May 14 and 15th in Andover Massachusetts. The series presented Rajesh Vaidya (Carnatic Veena), Nithyashree Mahadevan (Carnatic vocal) and Sudha Raghunathan (Carnatic vocal) in the mission’s auditorium. In the past Chinmaya Mission Boston has featured top-notch classical musicians from India such as Bombay Jayashri Ramnath and Dr. L. Subramaniam and continues to present the best artists in the Indian Classical music arena.

On May 14th, Rajesh Vaidhya inaugurated the series with a captivating
concert on the Carnatic veena. Known for his incredible clarity in playing
the veena, his style amalgamates speed, ornamentation and richness in
timbre all at once. His concert began with the famous varnam 'Ninnukori'
in Mohanam set to adi tala followed the ever popular 'Vathapi Ganapathim' in Hamsadhwani. His unique swarakalpana in ragamalika format where he changed ragas after each cycle was well-received. His concert also included ‘Sudha mayi’ in Amrithavarshini and ‘Raghuvamsa sudha’ in Kathanakuthuhalam in which he demonstrated incredible virtuosity and elements of harmony within the raaga. He explained his position by saying that while chords are played on guitar and speed on sitar, he wanted to show that both can be done on the veena. After a quick raagam-tanam-pallavi, he played his own composition called ‘Espresso coffee’ in Kapi and concluded the concert with the kriti Chandrasekhara in Sindhubhairavi. His accompanying artists on the mridangam, ghatam and kanjeera were very supportive and elevated the concert to the next level. The concert was well attended with a lot of aspiring veena students in the audience who were totally mesmerized by his playing.

Rajesh Vaidya’s concert was followed by vocal concert by the popular artist, Nithyasree Mahadevan  who included several Tamil kritis much to the delight of the audience who put in the special request. The concert began with an invocative kriti 'Vathapi ganapathiye vandhanam' in Sahana by Papanasam Sivan - who is revered as the Tamil Thyagaiya. "Pirava varam" by Papanasam in Lathangi was the highlight of the concert followed by a brisk raagam-taanam-pallavi in Kapi
bedecked with ragamalika swaras. She concluded the concert with a rare
thillana in Sindhubhiravi by Gopalakrishna Bharathi ‘Tha thai enradinar’.
Nithyashree was ably supported by her father Sivakurmar, son of late
Carnatic legend Smt. D.K. Pattammal on the mridangam. She thrilled
the audience not only with her performance but also with her warmth and
obliged to almost everyone who wanted to have a picture taken with her!

The series culminated with a grand finale concert by Smt. Sudha
Raghunathan , known for her classicism and adherence to traditional
Values on May 15th and this was a sold out concert with extra chairs placed on the isles to accommodate the audience who kept piling in to the auditorium. The concert began with an electrifying ‘Mathe Malayadhwaja’varnam in Khamas by Muttaiah Bhagavatar which signaled the beginning of a very energetic concert ahead. An invocative ‘Siddhi Vinayakam’ in Shanmukhapriya, captivating Nagumomu in Abheri and a very sedate Pattabhirama in Manirangu followed.  Thyagaraja’s Koluva in Thodi that Sudha took for the main piece with the electrifying thani (percussion solo) is something that the Boston audience would remember for a very long time. The concert ended with an attractive string of tukkadas such as ‘Brahmamokate’ ‘Kurai Ondrum’ and an Abhang.

Sudha Raghunathan’s concert was packed full with people clamoring for
more even after she held court for close to 4 hours! Her careful choice of
kritis and proportion in improvisations reveals a rare musical wisdom that
belongs to only great performers of the art. The concert would have been
incomplete with the very uplifting energy by the mridangam and violin who contributed in every capacity to the success of the concert

Bookmark and Share |

You may also access this article through our web-site http://www.lokvani.com/

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Copyrights Help