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Brickfields (Little India / Malaysia): Thyagaraja-Tansen Music Festival (9th-12th February 2012)

Posted by ElJay Arem (IMC OnAir) on February 3, 2012

by Subhadra Devan

Tribute to India’s music

(02/03/2012 -NST/Malaysia) The four-day Thyagaraja-Tansen Music Festival, in honour of two Indian classical music maestros, features music showcases, performances and talks. Subhadra Devan finds out more.

TWO main contributors to Indian classical music — Saint Thyagaraja and Miyan Tansen — will be honoured with a four-day festival come Feb 9.

Thyagaraja, one of the greatest composers of carnatic music, died in 1847. He, along with contemporaries Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Shastry, formed the Trinity of Carnatic music. As a composer, Thyagaraja was very influential in the development of the South Indian classical music tradition, having devised thousands of devotional compositions, most of them in praise of Lord Rama.

The legacy of Miyan Tansen, one of the nine gems in the court of Emperor Akbar, is found in the raga compositions of north Indian music. In fact, Tansen, who died in 1589, is said to be the father of Hindustani music. Many of his ragas begin with “Miyanki” (or of the Miyan). These include Miyan Ka Sarang while he created major ragas like Darbari Kanada, last played in Malaysia by Kumar Karthigesu at his solo recital, Khayal, in September last year.

Organised by The Temple of Fine Arts Malaysia, the Thyagaraja-Tansen Music Festival will also highlight the variety and richness of Indian classical music, and show its relevance to the overall music industry today.

The event is said to be a first as never have both artistes been paid tribute to in one sitting.

Traditionally, the Thyagaraja Music Festival is celebrated in Thiruvaiyaru, Tamil Nadu, near his samadhi (tomb) at the banks of Kaveri River. The Tansen Music Festival, (in the memory of Miyan Tansen) is celebrated near his dargah or tomb in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh.

Both of these festivals are annual events.


from left to right: Violinist Dr N. Rajam (9th Febr), vocalist Ravindra Parchure (10th Febr),
flautist Shantala Subramaniam (11th Febr) and Ustad Usman Khan on Sitar (12th Febr)

At TFA’s Thyagaraja-Tansen Music Festival, events include music showcases, student performances and musical offerings to their gurus, lecture-demonstrations, paper presentation and video presentations and talks.

The showcases include a Hindustani violin concert by three generations of performers — Padmabhushan Dr N. Rajam, her daughter Dr Sangeetha Shankar, and grand daughters Ragini Shankar and Nandini Shankar. They will be accompanied by tabla player Ajeek Pathak. Although Hindustani music artistes, they will pay tribute to both Thyagaraja as well as Tansen. It is a treat to have Rajam performing for the first time in Malaysia.

On Feb 10, a Karnatic & Hindustani Vocal Concert Double Bill will see Hindustani vocalists Sveta Kilpady and Ravindra Parchure accompanied by Prakash Kandasamy on tabla. And, vocalist Sampagodu S. Vighnaraja will be accompanied by S. Sriram on violin and Bangalore Ravi Shankar (mridangam).
On Feb 11, flautist Shantala Subramaniam will perform, accompanied by Akkarai Sornalatha on violin and Bangalore Ravi Shankar on mridangam.

On Feb 12, sitar master Ustad Usman Khan will perform, accompanied by Prakash on tabla.

The main performances will start at 7.30pm, at TFA’s Shantanand Auditorium in Brickfields. Invitations at RM30 and RM50 are available at TFA. Admission to lectures and workshops is by donation at the door. Call 03-2274 3709 or 012-310 7434 for details.

(Source: 03 February 2012 | last updated at 07:02pm – New Straits Times | ShowBiz)

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