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Chinmaya Mission Boston’s Triple Play Concerts Build Spirituality Through Music

Radhika Pillai

In what is becoming a grand spring tradition in Greater Boston, Chinmaya Mission Boston (CMB) will host the second annual Triple Play Concerts on May 18, 19 and 20 at its auditorium in Andover. Showcasing the best in Indian classical music, the concerts this year will feature the well-known duo of musicians Ranjani and Gayatri on Friday, May 18, at 7 p.m. Harikatha exponent Vishaka Hari will present concerts on Saturday, May 19, at 6 p.m. and on Sunday, May 20, at 4 p.m.

Over the past decades, Chinmaya Mission Boston has established itself as a mainstay for the local Indian community, thanks to its multifaceted services ranging from Bala Vihar and language classes for children to religious discourses and cultural programs. Now, with its remodeled center that includes sumptuous facilities including a well-appointed auditorium, CMB is gaining even more recognition for bringing world-class performances to the local audience.

Indian music has held a long-standing bond with spirituality, and with the annual Triple Play Concerts, CMB is forging a distinctive path that fosters this bond. “Indian music has essentially kept the works of philosophy alive for ages,” says Durga Krishnan, Chinmaya Mission Boston’s Artistic Director. “Saints have composed most of the south Indian classical music as an expression of their love for the divine. Although Carnatic music has a religious association, the spiritual experience can only be created when the singer is totally in synchronization with the musical sound or the nada,” she adds. Indeed, it is no surprise that this year’s Triple Play Concert performers are known as much for their ability to establish a spiritual connection through music as they are known for their talents in creating beautiful music.

Disciples of Padma Bhushan Sri P.S. Narayanaswamy, Ranjani and Gayatri are exceptional violinists and Carnatic vocalists who have been performing for more than 15 years. Critically acclaimed for their music, the sisters have enjoyed the rare status as A Grade artists with All India Radio and Doordarshan in both violin and vocal categories. They have performed internationally at venues in the United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore and the Middle East. Praised by The Hindu as “splendidly imaginative and spiritual”, the Ranjani and Gayatri concert suitably complements CMB’s Triple Play lineup and is one that is sure to enchant local rasikas.

Noted for her unique talent in the age-old art form of Kathakalakshepam, artist Vishaka Hari embodies Chinmaya Mission Boston’s concept of promoting spirituality through music. An A Grade artist with All India Radio, she has been known to use her melodious voice to captivate audiences with her art of storytelling through music. A disciple of legends Krishna Premi and Lalgudi Jayaraman, Vishaka Hari is renowned for the bhakthi element and divine aura in her performances. Hailed by The Hindu as an “essential part of the mosaic in today’s performing theatre”, Vishaka Hari will delight Harikatha enthusiasts with her renditions of Sundara Kandam on Saturday and Sri Krishna Leela on Sunday.

“Chinmaya Mission has five pillars - Spiritual, Children’s Education, Religious, Community Service and Culture,” says Krishnan. “The Triple Play concert series is essentially a means towards strengthening the pillars. By bringing top grade artists from Chennai, we try to mimic the musical ambience of Chennai Music festival for music lovers in this part of the world to experience. Through soulful music, the musicians take us on a guided meditation, helping us experience divine bliss,” she adds. Thanks to the Triple Play Concerts, there is little doubt that Chinmaya Mission Boston will succeed in its vision to take local audiences on an inspiring musical journey that will be spiritually fulfilling as well.

Tickets to the concerts are available at www.lokvani.com, or call Durga Krishnan at 508-481-7842.

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