By V Ramnarayan
A remarkable event of the season was the Parlandu Award function held at Raga Sudha Hall on 29 November by Parivadini for the second year in succession to honour an instrument maker. This year’s winner was Veena Raju, a celebrated veena-maker from Bengaluru, who received his award at the hands of veena vidushi Padmavathi Ananthagopalan, the Music Academy’s Sangita Kala Acharya and Sruti’s Vellore Gopalachariar awardee a few years ago. An accomplished performer and much loved teacher Padmavathi, who recently lost her husband, made a rare public appearance, because she had been so impressed by Raju’s work through the decades and felt she must be there to give him the award. She was full of praise for Parivadini and its founder Lalitharam Ramachandran for their exceptional initiative in spotting outstanding contributions among instrument makers.
The award function was preceded by a weeklong series of instrumental concerts and lecdems. The lecdems were by Ghatam S. Karthick (Appreciating the role of the Ghatam, Khanjira, Morsing in a Concert), Sriram Parasuram (Gayaka and Vadya aspects of Classical Violin Playing, Gayatri Girish (Pre-Trinity Carnatic Music), B.M. Sundaram (Tavil Legend Yazhpanam Dakshinamurthy) and T.N. Seshagopalan (Meenakshi Navaratnamalika of Syama Sastry).
This attempt to focus on instrumental music, the recipient of indifferent treatment over the years, is a commendable effort by Parivadini and Lalitharam.