A tribute on his 50th death anniversary
On 23 January this year, on the 50th death anniversary of Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Carnatica, in association with the Ariyakudi Legacy Centre, presented a musical homage under the overall theme Sri Ariyakudi: the Legacy Lives On at Arkay Convention Centre, Mylapore, Chennai. The programme was followed by two more commemorative events in quick succession at different venues.
The first programme was highlighted by a lecture by Alepey Venkatesan Ariyakudi's Tunesmithy on the wealth of compositions by Ariyakudi, with particular reference to the Tiruppavai, with songs from the repertoire rendered by Alepey Venkatesan'ss disciples Vaishnavi Anand and Shruti Jayaraman.
This was followed by a delightful lecture-cum-concert programme by senior vocalist S. Sowmya on Arunachala Kavi's Ramanatakam, with some excellent singing by young musicians Bharat Sundar, Aswath Narayanan, and Gayatri.
"In the fitness of things, this musical homage is to be paid by generations of singers, hailing from different schools of music, " said Venkatesan, stressing that the Ariyakudi influence on musicians went beyond his own disciples and followers of his bani.. It is with this idea that various singers have come together to participate.
On 27 January, Venkatesan gave a weighty yet enjoyable lecture on the Ariyakudi bani at the Sivagami Pethachi hall on Luz Church Road. "A Compendium on Ariyakudi" an illuminating DVD created and performed by Venkatesan was released by chief guest N. Gopalaswami, Chairman, Kalakshetra and received by guest of honour vidushi Sudha Ragunathan. The highlight of the evening was a concert in the Ariyakudi by by vidushis Ranjani and Gayatri.
The 50th anniversary event culminated in a concert of Ariyakudi's pallavis, presented by Venkatesan and star vocalist Abhishek Raghuram on 28 January at the Mylapore Fine Arts Auditorium, Mylapore, Chennai. The audience enjoyed an in-depth talk on Ariyakudi's pallavis by Venkatesan.
The whole tribute to Ariyakudi, fifty years after his demise, was conducted in a fittingf manner, with great warmth and attention to detail.