In memory of the late Yagnaraman of the Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, T. Nagar, whose unstinted support to the cause of the performing arts cannot go unrecognised, his son, Y. Prabhu has instituted the SKGS Yagnaraman Award of Excellence. This year, the SGKS Yagnaraman Living Legend Award has been conferred on violin maestro, Dr. L. Subramanian. The SKGS Awards of Excellence have also been given to three artists - S.P. Ramh (Carnatic vocal), Uma Namboodripad Sathyanarayanan (Bharatanatyam) and B.S. Purushotham (ganjira).
Ramh says, “I am delighted to receive this award. It was this sabha and Mr. Yagnaraman, who nurtured my talent by getting senior accompanists to play for me, and elevated me to the senior slot.” After a strong foundation laid by many gurus, Ramh came under the tutelage of vidwan Lalgudi Jayaraman, and today, he carries the legacy of this bani both as a performer and teacher. The devoted student also had the privilege of being with his Guru when he was composing many of his famous varnams and thillanas.
B. S. Purushotham hails from Karnataka, had his initial training from M.L. Veerabadriah and V. Praveen before moving to Chennai to learn under T. K. Murthy. He acknowledges the support by Yagnaraman, who not only recognised his talent, but also gave him opportunities to perform in more than a hundred concerts with great vidwans, which has “enriched his art.”
Uma Namboodaripad Sathyanarayana is an accomplished dancer and singer. She spent her childhood in Nagpur, where she learnt music from Raji, and dance from Srimathi. A scholarship she got from the Department of Culture and Tourism brought her in contact with the Viswesvaran household, where she trained with Chitra and Visweswaran. She says she is overwhelmed and feels that there is a greater sense of responsibility to be shouldered each time an award is conferred to her.
The awards will be presented at a ceremony on July 6, 5 p.m., to be presided over by maestro Ilaiyaraja. This will be followed by a concert by SubraMania, a band which will makes its debut. It features the vocals of Ambi Subramaniam and Bindu Subramaniam, along with Ramesh Vinayagam (keyboard), Prakash K.N. (bass), Karthik Mani (percussion), V.V. Ramanamurthy (mridangam) and Satyasai (morsing). The band, which blends jazz, pop, rock and Indian classical, will perform original pieces as well as covers and standards. The time is 7 p.m.