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Artistes

Carnatic Vocalist & Guru
Carnatic Vocalist & Shishya
Carnatic Vocalist & Guru
Carnatic Vocalist & Shishya
Carnatic Vocalist & Shishya
Carnatic Vocalist
Mridangam

Date & Time

Thursday Thu, 14 Mar 2024

Location

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India

The two-part program will present a close look at the lives, influences and artistic careers of two highly regarded Carnatic Women Gurus Vidushi Suguna Varadachari and Vidushi Rama Ravi and their disciples in the context of the trajectory of Carnatic music in the last hundred odd years.

The program will comprise a selection of archival photographs and audio recordings that will take the audience through the different phases of their careers and arts practice including their training with their Gurus and the distinctive baanis they inherited as young musicians.

At its core this program will retain all the features of a rich immersive Carnatic music experience; however it will be layered with additional material highlighted by the Carnatic vocalist, arts curator and founder of MOPA, Savita Narasimhan, who will be the “sutradhaar” and interlocutor for the program drawing attention to, emphasising and providing contexts for the music and conversations she will build with the artists.

Apart from the Gurus and co-artists RK Shriramkumar (Violin) and Arun Prakash (Mridangam), disciples Aishwarya Shankar, Dr. Brindha Manickavasakan and Dr. Nanditha Ravi will also be on stage. Towards the end of the concert in order to establish transference of the legacy from Guru to their disciples the program will also showcase solo singing from the disciples.

In collaboration with:

    

Supported by:

  

Artistes

Rama Ravi

Carnatic Vocalist & Guru

Rama showed glimpses of her musical talents even as a child, possibly inheriting them from her mother Thulasi Subramaniam, a musician, and a disciple of Sangita Kalanidhi Parur Sundaram Iyer. Rama’s formative years were spent at Kalakshetra. Her exposure to and training under musicians of the caliber of Sangita Kalanidhis Mysore Vasudevacharya, Budalur Krishnamurthi Sastrigal, and Vidwans M.D.Ramanathan and T.K. Ramaswami Iyengar played a decisive role in her development later as a musician. Subsequently, she also learned from the late Sangita Kalanidhi D.K. Jayaraman. Simultaneously she learnt Bharatanatyam from Sarada Hoffman, “Periya” Sarada, and Rukmini Arundale. Kalakshetra regarded her as a danseuse of great promise. She acted as Sita, a pivotal role, in the ballet, “Sita Swayamvaram”.

Pursuing her interest in music at the University of Madras, she obtained her M.Litt. degree under the guidance of Dr. T. Viswanathan. Coming into contact with the family members of the legendary Veena Dhanammal, Dr. T. Viswanathan, Brinda, Mukta, Sankaran, and Balasaraswati, Rama gained good exposure to the Dhanammal style of music. Rama Ravi has since, established herself as one of the leading exponents of the Dhanammal school, imbibing from them the subtleties, nuances, and modes of expression characteristic of this school.

She has been a senior performing artiste for over five decades, having performed extensively both in India and abroad. She is an ‘A Top” artiste of the All India Radio, Chennai.

She has been a noteworthy academician, having participated in intense academic sessions during her tenure.

Rama Ravi has also learned Hindustani music under the guidance of Pt. Vinay Chandra Maudgalya of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, New Delhi, earned the Visharad degree with distinction.

She has served as a Visiting Faculty at the prestigious Kalakshetra Foundation, her Alma Mater. She served as professor and Head of the Department of music at Seeta Lakshmi Ramaswamy College, Trichy and as head of the Carnatic music division at Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, New Delhi.

Among other titles that Rama Ravi received from many institutions of repute, In January 2012, she was awarded the Sangita Kala Acharya title by the Music Academy, Madras.

Nanditha Ravi

Carnatic Vocalist & Shishya

Dr. Nanditha Ravi trained under her grandmother, Smt. Thulasi Subramaniam and from her mother, Sangita Kala Acharya, Smt. Rama Ravi. She also learnt from Sangita Kala Acharya, Vidvan Bombay S Ramachandran, and Sangita Kalanidhi Smt. D.K. Pattammal. 

An MCA by qualification, she worked as a lecturer in the department of Computer Science, in Kumararani Meena Muthiah College of Arts and Science. 

A Masters in Indian Music from the University of Madras, she was conferred with the doctorate degree by the University for her thesis on The Sanskrit Compositions of the Muthuswamy Dikshitar Sishya Parampara. 

An A grade artiste with the All India Radio, she has performed in prestigious sabhas in India and abroad. They received good reviews in the press. 

With a fellowship from the Music Academy, Madras and the Government of Tamilnadu for pursuing her research, she was also granted the Junior Fellowship from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, to pursue her post-doctoral work. 

She has presented many papers in prestigious forums and publications. 

Dr. Nanditha Ravi has served as a visiting faculty at the Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai, for over 11 years. 

Sangeeta Siksha Peetam was a concept ideated by Dr. Nanditha Ravi, in 2017, to serve as platform in promoting the teaching of Classical Carnatic music in a systematic manner. 

Suguna Varadachari

Carnatic Vocalist & Guru

Smt.Suguna Varadachari is a leading senior carnatic musician. She had her initial training under Sri. P.K. Rajagopal Iyer, a disciple of Tiger Varadachariar and had the privilege of having advanced training under Sri Musiri Subramanya Iyer with a scholarship. Later she also trained under Calcutta Sri K.S.Krishnamurthy.

Suguna Varadachari is one of the most sought after guru known for her extensive repertoire of songs and her students are spread across the globe. As a senior guru, many of her disciples are prominent performing artists. She has the credit of teaching in the Department of Music, University of Madras for more than two decades. Conferred with so many titles and awards such as ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’, ‘Sangit Natak Akademi Award’, ‘Sangita Rathnakara’, ‘Sangita Kala Acharya’,’Isai Mani Makutam’,’Acharya Ratnakara’,’Sangeetha Acharya’, etc.

She is an ‘A-Top’ grade artist of All India Radio giving performances for the past 60 years. She has served as a judge at several music competitions conducted by prominent organizations. She is an expert committee member of The Music Academy and currently mentoring advanced Carnatic music students as a critical faculty member for ‘Advanced School of Carnatic Music’ conducted by The Music Academy.

Aishwarya Shankar

Carnatic Vocalist & Shishya

Aishwarya Shankar, a senior disciple of Guru Smt. Suguna Varadachari is a renowned Carnatic musician who has performed in prestigious concerts worldwide. She is also an accomplished academic and research scholar, having published several ISBN research papers and delivered lecture demonstrations in Music Academy’s academic sessions.

Aishwarya is an ‘A’ Grade artist at ALL INDIA RADIO – CHENNAI and has received notable accolades, including the prestigious ‘YUVA KALA RATHNA’ from RR Sabha, Chennai in Aug 2023,  ‘KALA RATNA’ title from the Cleveland Thyagaraja committee in 2018. She has been recogniSed as the Best Outstanding Vocalist and received the Best Concert awards from Madras Music Academy in 2020 and 2021 respectively. Aishwarya was honored as the ‘Most Promising Musician of the Year’ by Brahma Gana Sabha in 2019 and received the ‘KALAVANTA’ Award for Best Vocalist at the International Level Karnataka Music Youth Festival in Bangalore in May 2016. She is the recipient of the ‘Yuva Kalakaar Puraskar’ from Sri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts in Mumbai.

Aishwarya’s talent and dedication have earned her numerous prizes and awards, including a remarkable achievement of winning Twenty-One prizes out of Twenty-two sections at the competitions conducted by the Music Academy, Chennai in August 2008. She was also awarded a scholarship by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India for advanced training in Carnatic music. Aishwarya received the ‘KALAATEET SAMMAN’ Award from Chinmaya Naada Bindu and was honored with the title of ‘Sangeetha Sri’ from Rasika Ranjana Sabha in Trichy.

Brindha Manickavasakan

Carnatic Vocalist & Shishya

Dr. Brindha Manickavasakan, a Carnatic Music vocalist, is among the foremost, popular, performing musicians in India. She is currently learning from Vidushi Suguna Varadachari. She has been performing from the age of 10, for the past 23 years. She has also been trained in the Veena and Thirumurai isai and has collaborated with established artists in varied fields such as Villupaatu and Brittany Harp music. Known for her rich voice, and elaborative creative singing, her music is fresh and impactful. Her honesty in expression and in-depth involvement with the artform make her stand out as a distinctive musician.

A recipient of the title “Ilam Rasika Kala Bharathi” from Rasika Fine Arts, she has won many awards and accolades from various organizations. She has released several music albums, such as ‘Tyagaraja Vandanam’ for Giri Trading. Brindha is an ‘A’ graded vocal artist of All India Radio. She has a Masters degree in Biostatistics from Georgetown University, USA, a Masters and Doctorate degree in Music from Madras University with a thesis on the contribution of Tañjāvūr K Poṉṉayyā Piḷḷai. She is a constant feature in sabha-s in Chennai, and performs regularly in other venues within the country and abroad.

Savita Narasimhan

Carnatic Vocalist

Savita Narasimhan shines as a distinctive voice in the realm of Carnatic music captivating both the common listener and connoisseurs with her emotive renditions. She has trained under several eminent musicians for more than 2 decades and her style is the synthesis of these varied schools of music. 

Savita’s dedication and excellence have garnered numerous awards including the prestigious Bismillah Khan Yuva Puruskar and the Sangeeta Shiromani Accolade from the Shamukhananda Sabha in 2017. Savita holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Masters in English Literature. 

Savita is currently the Director of MOPA Foundation that documents all aspects of the South Indian Performing Arts. She is also Consultant Archivist at the Music Academy Chennai. 

K Arun Prakash

Mridangam

K Arun Prakash (born 1968) is a Carnatic Musician, Percussionist, Composer and respected Mridangam artist. He was born in Kumbakonam Tamil Nadu, India in 1968 to famous music composer Kalai Mamani L. Krishnan (1938-2009, a disciple of Sangeeta Kalanidhi GN Balasubramaniam  and Vasantha Krishnan.

Arunprakash started his training in mridangam at the age of nine under the late Kalaimamani Ramanathapuram M. N.Kandaswamy (a disciple of the mridangam maestro Palani M Subramania Pillai. He showed an immediate interest in playing Mridangam and started playing in concerts from the young age of eleven, just two years after the start of his training And during this time he has won many awards. Since then, he has given performances all over the world.

Arunprakash has created a new dimension in the art of accompaniment. The richness of the Carnatic soundscape is finely counterbalanced by pauses and compositional silences that he is able to unerringly find bringing a distinctive quality to his art. He can also sing well and has a natural flair for composing music. He has lent his composing skills in many devotional recordings as well as composing the theme music for the millennium show presented by the YACM for The Music Academy on 31 December 1999.

RK Shriramkumar

Violin

R K Shriramkumar belongs to a family of eminent Carnatic musicians who hail from Rudrapatna, a little village on the banks of the river Kaveri in Karnataka, South India. His grandfather Vidvan Shri R K Venkatarama Shastry, a veteran violinist, was one of the most respected musicians of the music fraternity.  His grand uncles Vidvan R K Narayanaswamy, Vidvan R K Ramanathan, Vidvan R K Srikantan, his uncles the ‘Rudrapatnam Brothers’, Vidvans R N Thyagarajan & R N Tharanathan,Vidvan R S Ramakanth, his aunts Vidushi Ratnamala Prakash and Vidushi R N Srilatha are all musicians of great repute.

Having had his initial lessons in violin playing from Vidushi Smt Savitri Satyamurthy, Shriramkumar was trained in vocal music and violin by his grandfather Shri R K Venkatarama Shastry. He later received guidance in violin from Vidvan Shri V V Subrahmanyam and in vocal music from Vidvan Shri D K Jayaraman. Born in Chennai on 4th October 1966 to Smt Kusuma Krishnamurthy and Shri R V Krishnamurthy, Shriramkumar began his concert career in 1981, performing his debut concert with Vidvan N. Vijay Siva on the auspicious day of Shankara Jayanti, and has since carved a niche for himself gaining much proficiency, acclaim, stature and popularity amongst musicians and music lovers alike. His skills were further honed through the association and learning he gained by accompanying the doyens of Carnatic music like Vidvan Shri Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Vidushi Smt. M S Subbulakshmi, Vidushi Smt. D K Pattammal, Vidvan Shri D K Jayaraman, Vidvan Shri Palghat K V Narayanaswamy, Vidushi Smt. T Brinda and Vidushi Smt. T Mukta, and others.

Shriramkumar’s concert experience includes performances for all the prestigious organizations in India like the Madras Music Academy, the All India Radio, Doordarshan, Kalakshetra, the Sangeet Natak Akademi, the ICCR and other premier sabhas of Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Madurai, Tiruvanantapuram and other places.

Shriramkumar has traveled far and wide on many concert tours, participating in prestigious festivals and venues.  These included performances during the many concert tours to North America (with many musicians –  Smt Geetha Rajashekhar,  Shri N Vijay Siva, Shri Sanjay Subrahmanyan, Shri K V Narayanaswamy, Shri N Ravikiran, Shri P Unnikrishnan, Shri R Suryaprakash, Rudrapatnam Brothers, Smt Bombay Jayashri, Smt S Sowmya, Smt Sudha Ragunathan, Shri T M Krishna, Smt Sangeetha Sivakumar and Malladi Brothers).