Visakha Music Academy’s 43 six-day annual festival of music and dance began on a sparkling note on Monday.

The academy’s prestigious M.S. Subbulakshmi Puraskar was given away by Carnatic exponent and guru Nedunuri Krishnamurthy and academy chief patron S Vijayakumar to Chennai-based vocalist couple Sriram Parasuram and Anooradha Sriram, who are equally proficient both in Carnatic and Hindustani styles of music.

Speaking on the occasion Mr Nedunuri Krishna Murthy said that informed audience are a real reward for the artistes as they inspire the artistes and brings out the best in them. Efforts should be made to promote awareness about classical arts among youth so that we would have an ambiance akin to Chennai conducive for the classical arts to flourish in full, he added.  He complimented the organisers for their choice of this outstanding couple for the award named after the legendary singer. Programmes of a ‘sabha’ reflect its taste and standing and the academy stands tall on that count, he observed.

Director Naval Science and Technological Laboratory (NSTL) and the president of the academy S. Rangarajan, who presided over, said that the fundamentals of our classical arts are very strong and developed well but its pristine glory needs to be preserved. Sabhas like the academy play a key role in this regard, he maintained. Secretary of the academy M.S. Srinivas, Vaddiparthi Narasayya, S. Padmini, Jyoth Rangarajan, and Kandala Srinivasarao took part. Later, a scintillating Carnatic and Hindusthani Jugalbandi by Sriram Parasuram and Anooradha Sriram regaled the music lovers.