Listen to Aruna Sairam sing your favourite song and also win a prize at the listeners’ choice concert. Or, listen to Sudha Raghunathan pay tribute to M.L. Vasanthakumari where she sings MLV’s tunes, her classical numbers and popular movie melodies. Or, download music on to your iPod or mobile from the telephone sized mini-kiosk.

It’s going to be all these and more at the Bharat Sangeet Utsav 2009 that got under way here on Friday. The 10-day festival of Indian classical music and dance is being organised by Carnatica and Shri Parthasarathy Swamy Sabha.

Presiding over the event, former Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami said that the festival is a great effort in bringing the north and south together.

Donald Mulligan representing the U.S. Consulate said performances enhance ties between nations. “Around 350 visas are issued by the US Consulate every year for artistes leaving the country to perform,” he said.

According to founder-director of Carnatica K.N. Sashikiran around 30 concerts will be performed in the fifth edition and the festival is unique as it is a good balance of Carnatic and Hindustani music.

Detailing the interesting line-up of concerts for the edition, Mr. Sashikiran said that Carnatic couple T.M. Krishna and Sangeetha Sivakumar would perform together, while vocalists Sowmya and R. Santhanagopalan would play a veena duet and a presentation by Sriram Parasuram will discuss if raga has a personality. “On the final day we are also launching a Facebook community of Carnatic musicians,” he said.

T.K. Ramachandran, MD, Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board and director Vasanth spoke.

The festival is open to all music lovers till November 9 at Narada Gana Sabha, Alwarpet.

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A fine frenzy November 9, 2009