Song of Surrender

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Vainika Mudhra Award for R.S. Jayalakshmi at Veenotsav 2017

By C. Ramakrishnan

Veenotsav 2017, organised from 27-31 August under the aegis of  Mudhra, was inaugurated by Dr. Pappu Venugopala Rao, Secretary, Music Academy on 27 August at the Infosys Hall, Bazulla Road, Chennai. Two concerts of 90 minutes duration were held each day at Mudhra's studio which was webcast worldwide  for rasikas. Such webcasts enable rasikas to listen to concerts on their PCs and mobile phones while sitting in their cosy living rooms or while on the move. 

During the inauguration, the Vainika Mudhra Award comprising a shawl, citation, medal and purse, was presented to vidushi R.S. Jayalakshmi—musician, teacher, and musicologist—by Dr. Pappu Venugopala Rao. The award is given out of the endowment created by Chitravina N. Narasimhan in the name of his father Gottuvadyam Narayana Iyengar and Bapu Rajalakshmi Sundaram. 

R.S. Jayalakshmi, after completing the Teacher’s Training Course from the Music Academy, Chennai, underwent further training under noted veena vidwan R. Pichumani Iyer, after securing a Government of India scholarship. She also learnt padams and javalis from T. Muktha. An 'A' Grade artist of All India Radio, she is a faculty member of the Advanced School of Music run by The Music Academy, and the Haridoss Giri School of Music of the Narada Gana Sabha. Her lecdems on multifarious topics are proof of her scholarship and communication skills.
Pappu Venugopala Rao presenting the Vainika Mudhra Award to R.S. Jayalakshmi as Radha Bhaskar (Treasurer, Mudhra), Suguna Varadachaari, and Mudhra Bhaskar (Secretary, Mudhura) look on.
In his speech, Dr. Venugopala Rao quoted many anecdotes from his ten-year long association with vidushi R.S. Jayalakshmi. He described her as a simple, humble and unassuming scholar. She had assisted him in the translation of the Sangeeeta Sampradaya Pradarsini into English. Dr. Jayalakshmi has also been involved in the preparation of the syllabus, conducting of examinations, and has worked as examiner in universities in Singapore and Australia. She is also visiting professor in an American University. She is guiding a number of students in their doctoral work. Vidushi Suguna Varadachari was all praise for Jayalakshmi's sincerity and dedication as a teacher and researcher. She said the vidushi had developed many unique teaching tools for the benefit of her students.

In her acceptance speech, the awardee thanked Mudhra and the eminent speakers for their appreciative words. Vainika B. Kannan, Trichy Murali, Rajashri Ramakrishna (HOD of Music, Madras University) and Lalitha Santhanam also offered felicitations to her after the main function. This was followed by a melodious veena concert by R.S. Jayalakshmi accompanied by M.S. Varadan (mridangam) and Trichy Murali (ghatam). The concert stood out for the vainika vidushi's manodharma, skill and stagecraft of the vidushi who was ably supported by her team.

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