Veteran Carnatic musician Manakkal S.Rangarajan was awarded the title ‘Sangeetha Kalasikhamani' at the inauguration of 78th South Indian Music Conference and Festival organised by the Indian Fine Arts Society here on Friday.
Violin maestro T.N. Krishnan, who inaugurated the festival, spoke on his association with the awardee that spanned several decades.
“When Mr.Rangarajan began singing, only few institutions such as The Music Academy and Tamil Isai Sangam were holding festivals. Many stalwarts, including Kumbakonam Rajamanickam Pillai and Palghat Mani Iyer, accompanied him in his concerts.”
Mr.Rangarajan was a contemporary of stalwarts, including Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar and G.N.Balasubramaniam.
A cash award of Rs.1 lakh was presented to Mr.Rangarajan. The award citation gave a detailed account of his career and achievements. It said that his voice modulation was exemplary and that he was an expert in brigas.
While musician T.V. Gopalakrishnan recalled his effortless rendition of songs in concerts that ran up to six hours,
Chitravina N. Ravikiran said students of music must emulate the attitude and hard work of eminent personalities.
Vocalist T.M.Krishna emphasised the need to document the knowledge of renowned vocalists such as Mr. Rangarajan to provide a better learning experience to budding musicians.
In his presidential address, Mr.Rangarajan said he was satisfied with his musical journey that spanned nearly seven decades and described singing in the times of stalwarts such as ‘GNB' and Madurai Mani Iyer as an honour.
Observing that change in classical music was necessary and inevitable, he said there should be no distortion or compromise on tradition. His tips for upcoming artists included understanding lyrics in other languages for better expression and distinct style in singing.
Senior musicians T.K.Govinda Rao, T.R.Subramaniam, musicologist S.A.K.Durga and the Society's president V.Sethuraman also spoke.