Thursday, 9 August 2018

At 80, still fresh in his music

Veteran violinist Chanrasekharan feted
By S.Sivaramakrishnan

Here is a report on the 80th Birthday Celebrations of M Chandrasekharan 8 July at Chennai

Celebrations for living legends lend a special charm – we  have the celebrity right in the middle to savour as well as respond to the heap of accolades!
Sangita Kalanidhi, Akademy Ratna  M Chandrasekharan’s 80th birth anniversary celebrations on 8 July 2018 was an example. The TTK auditorium of the Madras Music Academy saw a very good turnout of rasikas, musicians and disciples of the violin maestro. The event was significant as it marked 70 years of service to Carnatic music by the vidwan. His association with generations of musicians was illustrated in a beautifully designed invitation card. A grand line-up! In addition to accompanying many  musicians he has been prolific as a solo violinist and with his performances supported by his daughter. A much-preferred violinist for all vidwans he has accompanied them with much involvement adding to the overall impact of recitals. He has toured many parts of the world.
The event, meticulously organized by the vidwan’s family and disciples started with the rendering of his select compositions by his disciple Bharat Kumar, a son of vidushi Suguna Varadachari, accompanied by another sishya R Raghul (violin) and Kumbakonam Swaminathan (mridangam).  ‘Maravaavaram Taruvaai Sri Mahaaganapate’ in Amritavarshani was followed by kritis in Malavi and Suddhasaveri. It is a less known fact that the maestro apart from his excellent abilities also as a vocalist, is a composer of merit.
Next came the screening of a short film on the man and his music.  Accolades from several musicians, rasikas and disciples laced with jovial retorts from the vidwan made the film interesting and informative. Many rasikas and disciples presented  mementos  to honour  the octogenarian.   Endowed with a great memory power and sense of humour, Chandrasekharan  gave a short speech decked with several anecdotes. He did not hesitate to admit his ‘obsession’ with good food.  Rasikas present at the event were happy to see all family members of the vidwan including the most familiar face of Bharati- his daughter- who has been playing in tandem with him in violin solos for several years now.
The felicitation function had N Murali, President, Music Academy, Cleveland V V Sundaram and Madurai T N Seshagopalan offering their tributes to the vidwan who has just celebrated his Sathaabhishekam. While Murali said it was also an occasion to celebrate the human spirit of overcoming adversity and the challenges of life, Sundaram spoke about the maestro's astounding vidwat and great sense of time.  T N Seshagoplan, a long time associate of Chandrasekharan considered it a blessing that he had been performing with the vidwan for several years now. He also explained his extraordinary abilities in presenting the quintessence of ragas and his grip over laya. All spoke of his child-like innocence and willingness to encourage good music and musicians then and there.
A jugalbandi featuring Sangita Kalanidhi N Ravikiran (chitraveena) and Sangeetha Shankar (violin) formed the concluding session t of the evening.  Sangeetha, daughter of Dr N Rajam- chose the occasion to convey the fond regards of her family members to the respected maestro. She was perhaps representing the whole of fraternity of Hindustani music! In their solos, Ravikiran presented Anandabhairavi (Marivere gatiyevaramma) and Varaali (Kaa vaa vaa) and Sangeetha rendered a compact suite of Gorakh kalyan. In the jugalbandi proper, they presented a ragam-tanam-pallavi dedicated to the maestro with a pallavi referring to Chandrasekharan the great musician. The accompanists were Akkarai Subhalakkshmi (violin), Srimushnam Raja Rao (mridangam) and Saurav Kardikar (tabla)

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