The Ramanavami music festival is back

Chamarajpet Fort High School grounds will be abuzz with 75 concerts and 38 religious discourses for Sree Ramaseva Mandali's 38-day musical treat starting this Ramanavami. “This time it is going to cost us nearly 50 lakh,” says S.N. Varadaraj who is all set to spearhead the melodic season with 150 artistes coming down for the revered music festival.

The Mandali's 72nd National Music Festival has geared up to tackle a larger audience — the wood-and-iron truss work pendal will accommodate 4,500 persons. “For the first time a one-week (March 29 to April 4) day-and-night music series will be introduced in an air-conditioned pendal,” says Varadaraj. Musicians such as A.K.C. Natarajan, T.N. Krishnan, S. Sowmya, Hyderabad Brothers, Bombay Sisters, M.S. Sheela as well as leading stars Sikkil Gurucharan, Shashank (flute), Abhishek Raghuram and E.Gayathri are all taking part in this series of concerts. Ramaseva Mandali is pioneering this concept in Bangalore, similar to Chennai's December music season, where day-long music programmes are a norm in hundreds of sabhas.

Some rare inclusions are vocalist K.S. Gopalakrishnan and Nadaswara vidwan Thiruvizha Jaishankar from Kerala. Praveen Godkhindi, Sanjeev Abhayankar, Pandit Jasraj and a jugalbandi by Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and Mysore Manjunath are some more, while K.J. Yesudas will bring the festivity to a close on April 30.

The Narayana Swamy National Memorial Award this year will be presented to violinist M.S. Gopalakrishnan. Through the entire Ramanavami celebrations, there will be religious discourses in the morning session. “‘Psychology in Ramayana' is one of the newer topics for discourse by Bananje Govindacharya,” says Varadaraj.

Call 26604031 for details.