27 Nov 2022, Sun, 7pm
Esplanade Concert Hall
Led by eminent Karnatik musican and scholar TM Krishna, this performance is the result of a fascinating and unique collaboration with Nadasvaram artists Sheik Mahaboob and Smt Kaleeshabi Mahaboob. Accompanying them are Thanjavur T.R.Govindarajan (tavil), Akkarai S Subhalakshmi (violin) and Praveen Sparsh (mridingam).
The nadasvaram and tavil emerged from Tamil culture and is an important contribution to the world of music. Both instruments are stunningly beautiful and powerful, though not always fully appreciated even though Karnatik music’s aesthetics owe a lot to the practitioners of the nadasvaram and the tavil. As collaborative concerts between the practitioners of these instruments alongside singers and other performers are rarely seen, this concert will be a special, musical conversation hinged on artistic sensibilities and sensitivities. This artistic coming-together carries forward the age-old lineage where the past and present intersect to create a unique musical experience.
All patrons (except for children aged 12 and below) need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Patrons will be required to verify their vaccination status at the venue. Mask-wearing is optional. However, audiences are encouraged to continue to exercise responsibility and caution, such as wearing masks when in crowded places.
T M Krishna
T M Krishna is one of the pre-eminent vocalists in the rigorous Karnatik tradition of India's classical music. His tutelage is in this form that originated in the southern peninsula of the subcontinent nearly five hundred years ago. He has trained under the distinguished gurus, B. Seetharama Sarma, Chengalpet Ranganathan and Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, placing him in the highest reaches of that time-honored system. He has, at the same time, come to occupy a markedly distinct place in the Karnatik universe for the stunning individuality of his renditions, distinguished for an inner luminosity and a passionate intensity that are all his own. Krishna belongs to a tradition but is not owned by it. His concert stage, whether in his hometown of Chennai or anywhere else in the world, is wholly classical but his concert practice is uncompromisingly his own.
His musico-poetic partnership with India’s leading contemporary Tamil writer Perumal Murugan, is unprecedented. Rarely has a poet and a musician, who are contemporaries collaborated to bring out works of art on the ‘classical’ stage. He has also been a pioneer in bringing the poetry of the social reformer and philosopher Sree Narayana Guru into the Karnatik fold.
In 2016, Krishna received the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award in recognition of ‘his forceful commitment as artist and advocate to art’s power to heal India’s deep social divisions’. In 2017, he received the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration Award for his services in promoting and preserving national integration in the country and the Professor V Aravindakshan Memorial Award for connecting Karnatik music with the common man.
Thanjavur T.R.Govindarajan (b. 1952) hails from a family of traditionaltavil players. Imbibed with the interest to learn this art and family legacy, at the age of seven he became the disciple of the illustrious Needamangalam N.T.M. Shanmukhavadivel Pillai. After about two years, he was entrusted by the guru to another great tavil wizard, Nachiyarkovil P. Ragahava Pillai, at the feet of whom Govindarajan underwent rigorous training for nearly six years. In 1965, he became a full-fledged tavil artist and served as the stock-accompanist Mannargudi M.S. Paramasivam Pillai and to Thirumeignyanam P. Natarajasundaram Pillai, the great Pallavi maestro. Later, Govindarajan became a special tavil artist and had accompanied many a stalwart, like Thiruvidaimarudur P.S. Veerusyami Pillai, Thiruvenkadu P. Subramania Puillai, Namagiripettai K. Krishnan, Shaik Chinna Maulana Sahib, Kottur N. Rajaratnam Pillai, A.K.C. Natarajan (Clarionet), Madurai Sethuraman - Ponnusvami Brothers and more.
In the course of his brilliant career, Govindarajan has shared the platform with other greats in the field like, Kumbakonam Thangavelu Pillai, Valangaiman Shanmukhasundaram Pillai, Thirucherai Muthukumarasvami Pillai, Yazhppanam Dakshinamoorthi Pillai, Valayapatti Subramaniam, Hiridvaramangalam Pazhanivel, Thiruvazhaputhur Kaliyamoorti, Vedaranyam Balasubramaniam and others. He has also been accompanying U. Sreenivas (Mandolin), Kadri Gopalnath (Saxophone), Ganesh - Kumaresh (Violin) etc.
Govindarajan has toured abroad a lot and his lecture demonstration in the Wesleyan University, US was very well-received. His Jugalbandi percussive performance with the inimitable tabla maestro, Zakir Hussain, in the Wesleyan University, was a great success and Govindarajan received high encomiums from the tabla maestro himself and Dr. T. Visvanathan. He is a regular invitee to perform in various sabhas of Chennai, during the music festival and at other times also.
Sheik Mahaboob Subhani and Smt. Kaleeshabi Mahaboob
Husband-wife duo Sheik Mahaboob Subhani and Smt. Kaleeshabi Mahaboob both grew up in a musical family, with parents and relatives that are respected nadhaswaram vidwans. The duo have toured extensively all over India for concerts, and has also performed in Abu Dhabi, Brussels, Canada, Dubai, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, USA and the UK. They have received numerous awards, including the pretigious Padma Shri awarded by the Indian government, conferred on 31 Jan 2020.
Praveen Sparsh is a multi-percussionist and music producer. He started learning the art of mridangam at the age of five from Maestro Guruvayur Sri Dorai. He is the grandson of mridangam exponent Tanjore Sri Upendran and great grandson of tavil exponent Valangaiman Sri Shanmugasundaram Pillai.
Praveen is one of the most sought after mridangam exponents in the field of Carnatic music, and performs regularly with stalwarts like Sri TM Krishna, Smt. Aruna Sairam, Smt. Bombay Jayshree, Smt. Sowmya, Sri. Sikkil Gurucharan, amongst others. He has toured the United States extensively, as well as countries like Luxembourg, Germany, Belgium, Amsterdam, Singapore, Malaysia, Jakarta, Sydney, Melbourne, Israel and Palestine.
Praveen has most recently released his solo percussion album, Unreserved, a mridangam centric album that explores the sounds of everyday life. As a music producer, Praveen has scored and performed music for the play Kurukshetra - When things fall apart, directed by noted playwright Dr. Gowri Ramnarayan. He has also scored music for short films and ad jingles and has worked with famed director Rajeev Menon. Praveen has also been performing with his Indo-Fusion music band called the Sparsh Quartet, for the last five years.
Akkarai S Subhalakshmi
Akkarai S Subhalakshmi, Indian classical (Carnatic) violinist and vocalist, took the music world by storm at the tender age of eight, and her music continues to touch the hearts of countless music lovers around the world. Hailing from a musical family, she trained under her father, Akkarai Shri S Swamynathan, a veteran violinist who founded the Swara Raga Sudha school of music. Under his intensive training, she began her career in both vocal and violin by the age of eight. She was soon joined on stage by her younger sister, Akkarai S Sornalatha, known together as the Akkarai Sisters.
Subhalakshmi also trained under Shri V Janakiraman, Shri O V Subramanian, and his daughter Smt Padma Natesan in New Delhi, and later, Padmabhushan Shri P S Narayanaswamy and Chitravina maestro Shri N Ravikiran. She is now one of today’s leading violinists, known for her unique tone reminiscent of the human voice, and her soulful music that is a harmonious blend of virtuosity on the violin and the fine nuances of Indian classical music. Subhalakshmi has performed widely in India, and abroad in Japan, Singapore, North America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Israel, and more.
She has been a part of many of Sri T M Krishna's unique and revolutionary collaborations. She attributes all her success to her gurus, especially her father Akkarai Shri S Swamynathan, who established her as a musician and continues to guide her.
27 Nov 2022, Sun
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