The 113th December music festival of Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha began at the Vidya Bharathi hall in the city on Sunday, with Parakala Ramanuja Embar Jeeyar Swami of Sriperumbudur conferring the title of Sangeetha Kalasarathy on Chitravina N. Ravikiran.

The award includes a citation, a shawl and a cash award of Rs. 1 lakh instituted by P. Vijayakumar Reddy and Preetha Reddy.

In his address, the Jeeyar Swami said that the 113 year-old Sabha had served as a link to three centuries. “It has had excellent patrons in the form of rasikas and those providing financial support through the centuries, which is why it continues to exist,” he said.

The Jeeyar also presented awards to four artists -- the Palghat Mani Iyer Centenary Award to Trichy Sankaran, Dwaram Venkataswami Naidu Award to Nagai Muralidharan, Dr. M.L.V. Award to Ramakrishnamurthy and G. Ramanathan Award to R. Suryaprakash.

Felicitating the awardees, Cleveland V.V. Sundaram said that for Chitravina N. Ravikiran music was a sadhana. A perfectionist, a teacher par excellence and a composer, he had many facets.

Accepting the award, Mr. Ravikiran said that concerted steps must be taken to encourage children to appreciate Indian classical music. “In the West though people appreciate our music, they also have pride in their own music. We should encourage students to attend concerts thus bringing a younger breed of rasikas,” he said.

Solicitor General of India Mohan Parasaran said that the Sabha had tied up with the Shanmukhananda Sabha in New Delhi and in April a Tyagaraja Utsavam would be organised there. Industrialist and Sabha president Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti and Carnatic vocalist M. Balamuralikrishna spoke.

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