The four-day annual celebrations of the Nadhadweepam Trust, held at Srirangam, Tiruchi, served as a platform for budding artists to exhibit their talents.

The four-day annual celebrations of the Nadhadweepam Trust at the Sri Sringeri Sankara Mutt, Srirangam, marked the performances of young and senior artists of Carnatic music.

The inaugural day's programme commenced with the flute concert of B. Vijayagopal. He started with the brisk ‘Gajavadhana' of Papanasam Sivan in Sriranjani with a kalpanaswaram. Next was a crisp Aarabhi with the kriti ‘Sri Saraswathi' composed by Muthuswamy Dikshitar. The sub main was ‘Anuraagamule' of Saint Tyagaraja in ragam Saraswati which was preceded by an alapana and commenced with kalpanaswaram. It was followed by ‘Muruga Muruga' in Saveri and ‘Sarasa Sama Dana' in Kapi Narayani. Ragam Sankarabharanam was the masterpiece of the day with Tyagarajar kriti ‘Manasu Swadheena' in which the raga alapana and swaraprasthara exhibited his rich manodharma. The concert concluded with typical tail-enders such as ‘Manasa Sancharare' in Sama, ‘Venkatachalanilayam' in Sindhubhairavi and Bharatiyar's ‘Aaduvome Pallu Paaduvome.' Pudukkottai R. Ambikaprasad on the violin and Palladam Ravi on the mridangam and Tiruchi S. Krishnaswamy on the ghatam ably accompanied the main artist.

Crisp kalpanaswaras

The second day commenced with the talent promotion concert of R. Parthasarathy and master P. Aravind on the flute with Abinaya Ramesh on the violin and Srimushnam K. Rengarajan on the mridangam. It was the maiden performance of the flautists and the violinist. The programme began with the conventional varnam in Abhogi followed by ‘Vaathapi' in Hamsadhwani and ‘Saraswathi Namostuthe' in Saraswati. Delightful and crisp kalpanaswaras were rendered for both the kritis. They concluded with ‘Orajupuju' (Kannadagowla), ‘Bantureeti' (Hamsanadham) and a Thiruppugazh (Kuntalavarali).

O.S. Thiagarajan dedicated his concert to Saint Tyagaraja. He began with an apt ‘Gurulekha' in Gowri Manohari and succeeded with ‘Karunayela Kante' in Varali. The highlights of the day were ‘Paahimam Hare' in Kalyani and ‘Dwaithanu Sukama' in Ritigowla where appropriate alapana and kalpanaswaras depicted the artist's authority over the manodharma.

The concert also had the rare compositions of Tyagaraja in ragam Balamanjari (‘Sanathana') and ragam Vasantha Varali (‘Pahi Rama'). T.K.V. Ramanujacharlu on the violin, B. Harikumar on the mridangam and Alathur T. Rajaganesh on the ganjira gave able support.

The concerts on the third day were organised in memory of guru Tiruchi Swaminatha Iyer, a pallavi exponent of his time. Vocalist Pallavi Sriram from USA was the performer in the talent promotion slot of the day. She was accompanied by K.G. Rajesh on the violin and N.C. Bharadwaj on the mridangam. She warmed up the performance with the varnam in ragam Sri followed by the kriti ‘Ganapathe Sri Mahadeva' in Ganamoorthi, composed by Natesa Bhagavatar. ‘Kadambari Priye' of Muthuswamy Dikshitar in Mohanam with a splendid alapana followed next. The main piece was ‘Kaamakshi' in Varali with niraval and kalapanaswaras at ‘Sivasankari Sukashyamale.' It was followed with desserts such as GNB's ‘Unnadiye Gathi' in Bahudari and Daasar's ‘Innudaya Bharathe' in Kalyana Vasantham.

Pleasing Bowli

The vocal concert of Mambalam Sisters took place in the main artist slot of the day. They commenced with a pleasing Bowli (‘Sambho Mahadeva' of Neelakanta Sivan) followed by an unconventionally slow-paced ‘Janaki Ramana' in ragam Suddha Seemanthini. Tyagaraja's ‘Nadupai Pallikeru' in Madhyamavati was preluded by a soothing alapana. The next one was ‘Vinaraathana' in Devagandari, a Sriranga-Kshetra kriti of Tyagaraja. The magnum opus of the evening was ‘Endhuku Nee Manasu' in Kalyani in which the sisters exhibited their talents in alapana and kalpanaswaras.

R. Hemalatha accompanied on the violin with Salem K. Srinivasan on the mridangam and K. Rangachari, father of the Mambalam sisters on the ganjira.

Talent show

The final day was an exclusive ‘talent promotion show' under the propitious of renowned mridangam vidwan guru Tiruchi Radhakrishnan. The day began with an astounding keyboard performance of Master Archit Baskaran from Wisconsin, USA accompanied ably by Master Abhinav Seetharaman from Virginia, USA. They began the concert with ‘Vathapi' in Hamsadhwani and followed it up with ‘Guruleka' in Gowrimanohari. Next was the heavy Swarajathi of Syama Sastri in Bhairavi. The main item of the concert was ‘Sogasuga' in Sriranjani which was beautified with appropriate alapana and kalpanaswaras. The final pieces were ‘Kuraiondrumillai' and ‘Chinnanchiru Kiliye.' The young mridangam player was flamboyant with his playing and has inherited a good nadham.

When M. Dinesh, a chartered accountant, presented a vocal concert, the stage had a perfect team of youngsters and eminent artists with Pudukottai R. Ambikaprasad on the violin, Srirangam Balaji on the mridangam and Alathur Rajaganesh on the ganjira. The concert began with a brisk ‘Deva Deva Kalayamithe' of Swati Tirunal in Mayamalavagowla with a crisp niraval and kalpanaswaram. It was then followed by a comforting alapana in Ritigowla as a prelude to ‘Janani Ninnuvina' of Subbaraya Sastri. The main ragam of the concert was in Gowri manohari (a rare ‘Saarasa Saama Mridu' of Swati Tirunal) with an apt raga alapana and swarakalpana.

The concert concluded with a tillana of Veena Seshanna in ragam Chenjuruti. Pudukkottai R. Ambikaprasad excelled in adequately supporting the young artist.

Maiden concert

The last in the line-up was the maiden vocal concert of Master J. Balagirish, class XII student of E.R. Higher Secondary School, Tiruchi. He began the concert with ‘Vallabha Nayakasya' in Begada followed by a splendid kalpanaswaras. Next were a quick ‘Varanaradha' in Vijayasree and Marimuthu Pillai's ‘Sevikka Vendum Aiyya' in Andolika. The sub-main was ‘Gnanamosakaradha' in Purvikalyani with a blend of raga alapana, niraval and kalpanaswara. After the ‘Devathideva' in Sindhuramakriya, the main item ‘O, Rangasayee' in Khambodi was sung in a brilliant manner with a heart-filling alapana.

The niraval and swarakalpana in ‘Boolokha Vaikundam' was fitting and comforting.

Pudukottai R. Ambikaprasad on the violin, Salem K. Srinivasan on the mridangam, Tiruchi S. Krishnaswamy on the ghatam and Alathur Rajaganesh on the ganjira lent able support.