S.Rajam’s (Music Appreciation notes)

Friday, 6 October 2017

Charubala Mohan Trust honours senior artists

By C. Ramakrishnan

Charubala Mohan Trust, founded by violin maestro M. Chandrasekaran,  celebrated its 19th anniversary at the Arkay Convention Centre, Chennai, on 9 September 2017. Honouring senior artists is an annual feature of the Trust, and this year the titles Violin Nadamani and Mridanga Nadamani were  conferred on vidwans Nagai Muralidharan and K.S. Kalidas respectively.

Violinist Nagai Muralidharan, a disciple of R.S. Gopalakrishnan, worked in All India Radio for 28 years. In the concert circuit, he has provided violin accompaniment to several senior vidwans and continues to embellish the concerts of many young musicians. His violin duets with his star disciple Nagai Sriram are popular. He even played non-stop violin for 26 hours at the Srirangam temple. While presenting the award to him, mridanga vidwan Guruvayur Dorai described him as a kind and generous person concerned about the welfare of fellow musicians.

K.S. Kalidas, an engineer since retired from the Indian Railways, was a disciple of mridanga maestro Palani Subramania Pillai. Family commitments forced him to choose a job with the Railways and  his posting  in various places came in the way of  his regular mridangam training. He was however, very active in the concert field from 1968 to 1986.  Due to an accident, he has not played the mridangam in concerts for the last 18 years, but he has been training several students in the strict Pudukottai tradition. Many of his students,  including young Akshay Anand, are already in the concert circuit. Kalidas also received the award from Guruvayur Dorai, and Cleveland Sundaram felicitated the two awardees. The award function was followed by a violin duet by Nagai Muralidharan and Nagai Sriram who were accompanied by Mannargudi Easwaran (mridangam) and Nerkundram Sankar (khanjira).

Prior to the award function, there was a concert featuring the compositions of Sangita Kalanidhi M. Chandrasekaran, who, apart from being a highly accomplished violinist and vocalist, is also a composer of merit—an aspect that has not received due exposure. He has composed three varnams and 32 kritis. Although the compositions have been sung by the maestro in some of his vocal concerts over AIR, they have not caught the attention of discerning rasikas. The compositions satisfy the requirements of yati, prasa, different eduppus, different talas, chittaswarams, madhyama kalam, and jatis in a wide variety of ragas and languages qualified to enrich the concerts.

V. Navneethkrishnan—a  torchbearer of the KVN bani, presently under the guidance of Padma Narayanaswamy—accompanied by  M. Vijay (violin) and Sai Krishnan (mridangam), presented  a concert exclusively devoted to the compositions of M. Chandrasekaran. Navneeth made a good presentation of the songs which he had internalised with dedication for this concert and he sang the songs in ragas Amritavarshini, Natakapriya, Latangi, Malavi, Suddha Saveri and Behag without a single piece of paper. The violinist M. Vijay is presently honing his skills with violinist S. Varadarajan and the mridangist Sai Krishna is a student of Parameswaran of Palghat—a disciple of T.K. Murthy. The TKM bani was evident  in his mridanga playing; both the accompanists embellished the concert to a great extent.<<>> 

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