Music Organisations
Veenavaadhini Sampradaya Sangit Trust (Regd.)
Location: Chennai

About Veenavaadhini Sampradaya Sangit Trust: 

Veenavaadhini is an organization founded by the Veena Couple JT Jeyaraaj Krishnan and Jaysri Jeyaraaj Krishnan. The mission statement of the Trust is to work zealously towards the 3Ps, namely Preservation, Propagation and Popularization of Carnatic Music with particular emphasis on the divine instrument Veena. 

The trust has set up a school for vocal and veena music where Jeyaraaj and Jaysri share their knowledge with students of music who are as passionate about the pure traditions of Carnatic music as them. 

Veenavaadhini conducts chamber concerts which creates a unique closeness and rapport between the musician and the music lover. 

Belonging to the direct Sishya Parampara of Muthuswamy Dikshitar, the Gurus, along with their students at Veenavaadhini, have undertaken to visit the provenance of Muthuswamy Dikshitar’s kritis, to retrace Dikshitar’s journey, visit the temples that he visited, and render the kritis that he composed on the various deities enshrined therein. 

The Trust proposes to create a unique archive of over 1000 compositions and 100 raga alapanas rendered by Jeyaraaj and Jaysri on the Veena. This huge project has been undertaken to reiterate the versatility and unlimited potential of the Veena. It is an endeavour to bring to the fore and preserve for posterity the Gayaki style of playing the Veena as the vainika couple has imbibed from their Gurus A Anantharama Iyer and A Champakavali through the unbroken disciplic lineage of vainika gayaka Muthuswamy Dikshitar.

Kutcheri in Park
Location: Nageswara Rao Park in Mylapore

Sundaram Finance offers a chance to children, aged below 15 years to perform at the Chess Square of the Nageswara Rao Park in Mylapore. It is being organised on the first Sunday of every month and the duration is an hour.

"It is a mikeless kutcheri; the idea is not to disturb the peace of the morning walkers with loud music, and over 200 children have performed at the Sunday Kutcheri in the Park", according to their blogsite. http://sundaykutcheri.blogspot.in/

To perform here, the child needs to attend an audition in front of a panel on a day fixed by the organisers. 

For registration, call 9445034557 or 28521181. Email your profile (age, guru, duration of the tutorship) to sundaykutcheri@gmail.com

CARVA Trust
Location: Chennai

C.A.Rajasekar has been teaching violin for the past 25 years. With well over a hundred students under his guidance, he has been orchestrating regular performances to a wide audience. From being known as the ‘group of hundred+ violins’ the need for an identity resulted in formation of the Chittor Appanna Rajasekar’s Violin Academy – CARVA Music School in 2000, which later grew into being administered under the name of the CARVA Trust

One amongst the acclaimed of their performances was on the Independence Day (in the year 2002), which was broadcast on ‘Podhigai T.V.’ under a program titled “Isai Aruvi”. Over a hundred CARVA students rendered popularly known patriotic pieces on their violin with pride, grace and confidence. Another such performance was given on Jaya T.V. in 2004 as part of their Pongal Special programs and was acclaimed by all. CARVA students regularly perform at the Ashramam of Poojya  Muralidhara Swamigal in Malapattu Village under aegis of the saint. Also, their performances at MUSIC ACADEMY as a part of “Svanubhava” by these amateur violinists had a great acclaim.

 

Annual Activities of CARVA TRUST 

CARVA Music Festival, now a tradition of the academy is arranged wherein every single student gets to stage their performance along with their peers accompanied with the rhythm of percussion artists. The motive behind such program is to instill confidence among young budding artistes and to provide them a priceless opportunity to learn more in this field of specialization. This is done by teaching each student the most generalized of songs, which when played or heard by them boosts their morale. The program, sectioned for pupils of different levels of learning – from Geetham to Krithis, are orchestrated, practiced (for over 30 - 40 sessions) and rendered for an ever houseful audience. As a grand culmination of the event, students of almost all levels perform for a Grand Ensemble in unison, rendering Bhajans and popular songs of the public patrons.

The first festival was conducted in 2000. With a modest 50 students the program was presided by Violin Maestro ‘Sangeetha Kalanidhi’ M.Chandrasekaran and was acclaimed a success by one and all. By the subsequent year around a hundred students participated in the event, with a much wider media attention, appreciation and laurels to CARVA. 

Great musicians and personalities have graced this function including Poojya  Muralidhara Swamigal and Ghatam Maestro Vikku Vinayagaram,  Renowned Musicologist Dr V.V.Srivatsa, ‘Sangeetha Kalanidhi’ T.K.Govindarao, Madurai  G.S.Mani,  ‘Nadha yogi’  V.V.Subhramnaian, Western Giant  V.S.Narasimhan. The applause and appreciation by these music Vidhwans have been a morale boost for many of these young tiny tots who are hardly the size of the violin bow. With years of successful deliverance in series, the appreciations are now converting into expectation from a crowd that come to witness the bravado of the amateurs, agility of the seniors and the grandeur of CARVA. 

Pilgrimage to Thiruvaiyaru is one amongst the greatest privilege and a spiritually elevating experience for any student of Carnatic music and patrons alike. The annual Thiyagaraja Aaradhanai festival brings every leading and aspiring musician and patrons from all over the world. CARVA students are given the privilege to render musical homage at the shrine of the great saint every year during the month of May. The students along with their guru perform a Nadhaharam (garland of music) for the saint by playing a piece on Lord Rama forming a garland as they sat around the shrine in a chain. The pilgrimage has been taken up for the past nine years and is definitive for the years to come. The idea behind this trip is to instill confidence in these young brigades in accordance to our strong ethnic and edifying practices ofIndia.

 

Contact:

Website: www.carvatrust.org

Saraswathi/Saraswathi Vaggeyakara Trust
Location: Chennai

Saraswathi, which is the parent Organisation, came into being in 1979 at a time when a platform for Carnatic Music was a rare phenomenon except in December. From the beginning, it has been its endeavour to devise novel methods for bringing out the values in classical carnatic music and the need for nurturing the same. Every year till 1991 a souvenir was issued on a particular composer, composers or other important subjects bringing out clearly the contribution of composers to the music world. The souvenirs have helped students and practicing musicians to have a background of the rich cultural heritage. They are even reference books in music libraries.

Saraswathi Vaggeyakara Trust was formed in 1987 with the main idea of giving pointed attention to the compositional aspect of music. Considerable ground has already been covered. The most important activity is the organizing of the Trinity Jayanthi Series every year which is from March to May where effort is made to cover important contributions of the Trinity i.e. Shyama Sastri, Thyagaraja and Muthuswami Dikshitar. This has been a success and has been welcomed by the listening public as well as the Media. The same theme has been adopted by other leading organisations at Chennai and other places in Tamil Nadu.

A beginning was made in 1989 to bring Dikshitar’s Mantapam at Ettayapuram on to the music map which is being continued. A group of musicians is being taken from Chennai as well as from other places reaching the mantapam on a Sunday in August every year, where artistes render Dikshitar’s kritis from about 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is an anuual pilgrimage to pay musical homage to the great composer. A total of about 300 Dikshitar’s Kritis have been covered in various trips. Thanks to these efforts, many of the youngsters are now more familiar with more number of Dikshitar’s kritis and what is rewarding is the general awareness on the part of the musicians to continue this effort and also prepare their own disciples for bringing out the various aspects in Dikshitar’s contributions. Narada Gana Sabha Trust, Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha (Regd) , Brahma Gana Sabha (Regd) and Bharathiya Sangeetha Seva Trust (Regd) have joined in this pilgrimage.

A similar effort for Shyama Sastri was intiated in September 1992 where musicians congregate for rendering compositions of Shyama Sastri, Subbaraya Sastri and Annaswamy Sastri. This is again on a Sunday during Navarathri which is a festival exclusively devoted to Devi. The venue is Narada Gana Sabha Mini Hall, Alwarpet. This effort is being continued. Here again, Narada Gana Sabha Trust, and Sri Ramakrishna Sangeetha Seva Trust(Trichy) join in this effort.

Realising the need to propagate the contributions of Narayana Tirtha, Saraswathi Vaggeyakara Trust, along with Tiruponthuruthi Narayana Tirtha Trust, has been organizing a series dedicated to him every July in Chennai.

Another direction in which some efforts have been made is the propagation of compositions in Tamil. A serious beginning in this direction was made during Papanasam Sivan’s Centenary year 1990. From that year a series based on Tamil Compositions is held every year in September.

Both the organizations i.e. Saraswathi and Saraswathi Vaggeyakara Trust have also made some efforts in Video and audio documentation of important aspects concerning music. Discussions on Pallavis, Varnams by eminent musicians and musicologists, have already been documented. Documentation on other specific aspects has also been done. A full dessertation on the 72 Melaragas by Professor S.R. Janakiraman has been done.

After the inception of Saraswathi Vaggeyakara Trust, Saraswathi has been concentrating on aspects important for pure music as well as instrumental music. Special ragam, thanam, pallavi concerts, special lec-dems on aspects such as raga, niraval layam are held by this organisation. More particularly from 1996 onwards, during the festival season in December, a lec-dem series for about ten days (the last ten days of December) is held in coordination with Narada Gana Sabha (Regd). which covers music, dance, Namasankeerthanam etc. Art lovers have found the series very educative and lively.

No admission fee is charged for any programmes held under both the organisations.

To sum up, the organisations have been trend setters. Many of the special programmes which have been evolved and carried out by these Organisations have been adopted/adapted by other organisations. There is an expectation that these two organisations will continue the innovative spirit in the future as well.

 

Contact:

No. 15, Kalamegam Street,

East Tambaram, Chennai - 59

Ph: +9144.2239.2291

Paalam - connecting art, artists and art lovers
Location: Chennai

Paalam, as the name signifies, is an art forum that is being launched with a view to create a bridge between fine arts, artists and art lovers. Founded by Mudhra Bhaskar and Dr.Radha Bhaskar who have over two decades of experience as musicians and cultural organizers, Paalam aims at spreading art and cultural awareness through organizing educative programmes pertaining to all fine art forms. 

Apart from various objectives like conducting seminars, workshops and lecture-demonstrations for creating awareness about the nuances of various art forms, conducting Music Appreciation workshops, organizing music workshops in schools and colleges, organising innovative, novel and thematic concerts, conducting info-quiz on fine arts in schools and colleges, recognizing outstanding talent in the field of fine arts and giving them awards, providing merit scholarship for deserving students in fine arts and also financial assistance for needy students to pursue their education in fine arts, to promote research activities in fine arts, to create an exhaustive music and dance library, to raise the standard of youngsters by organising concert with combination of senior and junior artists,  conducting congregational singing in corporation schools and creating an exclusive website on educative aspects of fine arts, Paalam will also utilize the web technology by organizing virtual school and web- casting lectures and other educative programmes through the net. 

Today, commuting to concert halls has become both cumbersome and time-consuming, especially for senior citizens and students. Also, in places outside Chennai, concert and other cultural events are sparse. Another advantage of webcasting programmes is, unlike the satellite tv channels this can be viewed in any part of the world.

Thus, to cater to the needs of senior citizens, students and rasikas all over the world, Paalam has devised a unique “52 week webcast project” wherein on all sundays in the week, a music, dance or drama will be webcast for the benefit of all art lovers. This will enable rasikas to be connected to the arts and also appreciate it better. This can be viewed at www.paalam.in/tv .

For further details email to us at : paalamconnect@gmail.com or info@paalam.in

The Lofty Heights Series
Location: USA

The Lofty Heights Series is a new initiative by Carnatic musician and guru, Kiranavali Vidyasankar, to foster awareness, interest and a life-long involvement in Indian performing arts and culture, particularly in the Philadelphia area, USA. She hopes to achieve this through a combination of workshops, performances and interactive sessions by artistes, both well-known and aspiring, from North America as well as India in an informal setting. The idea was triggered last April, when Kiranavali arranged a Q & A session with Vegavahini Vijayaraghavan, an eighth generation representative of the well-known Vina Dhanammal family. 

The series was flagged off in a full-fledged manner on Feb 16, 2013 with a concert of young vocalist Gokul Chandramouli, who currently resides in Maryland. He was accompanied by Swetha Narasimhan (violin) and Prakash Rao (mridangam). The next performance in the series was on March 24th, and featured a Special Harikatha called "Tyagaraja Charitram" by none other than the brilliantly multi-faceted Sangita Kalanidhi T. N. Seshagopalan with accompaniment by Nagai Sriram (violin) and Vinod Seetharaman (mridangam). In April, there was an instrumental double-header event featuring Bhargavi Balasubramaniam (chitravina) and Sikkil Mala Chandrasekhar (flute). Young talents Kamalakiran Vinjumuri (violin) and Rajna Swaminathan (mridangam) provided support for both concerts.

The response for all the events has thus far been extremely enthusiastic with music lovers traveling great distances to soak the unique atmosphere and hear the artists at close quarters. The interactive nature of the events has also made them very special and interesting to the audience, especially the sizeable number of music students who make it a point to attend them. The audience eagerly guesses ragas and songs, keeps tala with the artists and poses thoughtful questions as well.

A vocal performance performed on May 25th by veteran vocalist, Trivandrum Seetalakshmi, who has had her tutelage under stalwarts such as Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer and Parassala Ponnammal. She will be accompanied by two well-known artists from the Boston area, K V S Vinay (violin) and Mahalingam Santanakrishnan (mridangam).

About Sabhash - Everything about classical music, dance, drama and a platform for inclusive entertainment

Sabhash.com is the one-stop destination for the latest news and information on the performing arts of India - classical music and dance, theatre, bhajans, discourses, folk performances, and other lesser known art forms. Institutions that revolve around the performing arts have exploded in numbers, and thanks to the Internet which has made information easily accessible, the number of rasikas has grown too. Corporate patronage has played a big part in increasing the world-wide reach of the Indian arts. Sabhash wishes to be a platform for inclusive growth giving an equal opportunity and recognition to not only the main performer but also the artistes who accompany them on stage, and the people who work backstage and play the role of unsung heroes.