Sixth edition of The Hindu Friday Review November Fest launched

The sixth edition of The Hindu Friday Review November Fest was launched with a unique concert, ‘Samvada - Strings Attached,' by the accomplished husband-wife team of Jayanthi and Kumaresh at Vivanta by Taj, Connemara, here on Sunday.

The brief but memorable performance featured Jayanthi on the veena and Kumaresh on the violin, and had rasikas in the audience exclaiming with delight over both virtuoso solos and spirited jugalbandis.

Opening with a soulful piece in Raga Kalyani that was especially composed for the fest, the duo then went on to a mellow composition in Raga Manoranjani by Tyagaraja, a lively folk song in Raga Behag, and closed with an energetic Tillana in Raga Kapi.

"It's a great pleasure for us to be at the opening of this wonderful celebration of music and culture," Mr. Kumaresh said.

The fest travels to three other cities this year — Hyderabad, Coimbatore and Bangalore. The Chennai edition will feature artistes from five countries, beginning with Tina Sani, a ghazal singer from Pakistan.

Ms. Sani, who was present at the launch, said this was the first time she was performing in Chennai and was excited to be part of the fest. She was joined in lighting the kuthuvilakku by Jayanthi as well as well-known Carnatic musicians Sudha Raghunathan, Ranjani and Gayatri, who were in the audience.

Speaking at the launch, Vijay Shrikent, general manager, Vivanta by Taj, Connemara, said: “We at the Taj Connemara consider it a matter of great pride and privilege to be associated with the fest from its inception. Music is food for the soul and we're sure the menu over the next week will have something in store for everyone.”

Allied activities at the fest this year will include a series of 'shamiana recitals', 45-minute performances by young artistes from the city just outside the main hall. There is also a new microsite for the fest, with exclusive video interviews and audio files.