The Shiv Nadar Foundation will contribute a sum of Rs. 1 crore to The Music Academy for the upgradation and renovation of the mini hall on its premises. This is the largest donation in the history of The Music Academy.

Announcing this at the inauguration of The Music Academy's 84th Annual Conference and Concerts here on Wednesday, HCL Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of HCL Technologies Shiv Nadar said classical music was earlier pursued by a small section of society and that section had certainly grown, both in terms of performers and listeners.

Observing that veteran musicians and senior citizens often bemoaned the decline of interest in classical music and attributed this to other forms that “enticed” young listeners, Mr. Nadar said: “While it is true that Indian youth is opening itself to world music in a big way, it is not always at the cost of classical music.” There was no need to insist on or expect an exclusive devotion to carnatic music, he said.

Avoiding an either-or approach and adopting a more flexible interpretation of what good music is would benefit the growth of classical music, Mr. Nadar said. “Carnatic music should be projected not as an exclusive, rigid and difficult musical form, but one which has a give-and-take relationship with other classical and folk forms in India, while being heir to a tradition of rigor and discipline.”

Mr. Nadar highlighted the role of technology in opening up tremendous possibilities for widening the base of Indian classical music. One's geographical or social location would no longer be crucial to accessing good quality music, he added.

President of The Music Academy and Senior Managing Director of Kasturi & Sons Limited N. Murali said The Academy was extremely happy to have chosen for its prestigious ‘Sangita Kalanidhi' title, the vocalist duo, Bombay sisters, C. Saroja and C. Lalitha, who will preside over the 84th conference.

“Remarkably, they are the fourth generation musicians to get the Sangita Kalanidhi in the same parampara that has been made prominent by the legendary Shri. Musiri Subramanya Iyer, the other two awardees being, Shri. Sabesa Iyer and Shri. T.K.Govinda Rao,” he said.

The ‘Sangita Kalanidhi M.S. Subbulakshmi Award' instituted by The Hindu was presented to the Bombay sisters. Commencing from 2005, the award, in memory of the legendary M.S. Subbulakshmi, is being presented to the Sangita Kalanidhi-elect at the inaugural function.

Mr. Murali earlier spoke on the ongoing, phased infrastructure upgrade and modernisation programme. A major component of the work had just been completed, he said, highlighting the enhanced lighting, aesthetics and vibrancy of the foyer, with new wooden panelling and glazing.

The auditorium, which now provided easier access to persons with disability, had also been made more acoustics-friendly. The entry and exit points have also been modified to ensure easier access and smoother flow of vehicles. Thanks to the support of the P. Obul Reddy and T.T. Vasu families, the award money for recipients of the ‘Sangita Kalanidhi' and ‘Sangita Kala Acharya' titles, the two TTK Awards and the Musicologist Award had been doubled, Mr. Murali said.

One of the Sangita Kalanidhi-elects Ms. Saroja spoke on the sisters' journey from the time they started out as eager youngsters till date. Highlighting the contributions of their different gurus, Ms. Saroja said while they were greatly appreciative newer, technology-driven approaches to teaching and learning music, they felt that nothing could replace face-to-face sessions with the guru.

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Arts, Entertainment & EventsMay 14, 2012