Several eminent artists, old and young, felicitated

Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Cultural Festival 2011 kick-starts the popular ‘Madras music season' here on Sunday.

The Bhavan took this opportunity to felicitate several eminent artists, old and young.

Eminent Carnatic musician and composer Balamuralikrishna, who was presented the P. Obul Reddy Award, described Bhavan as the “home of arts and artistes.” Himself a patron of the London branch of the Bhavan, he said this institution had been rendering yeoman service to arts and culture and expressed hope that it would continue to remain so.

G.Srinivasan, chairman and managing director, United India Insurance Company, the chief guest, said Chennai turns into a different city altogether during the music season. And the cultural festival of Bhavan was not only free but was also of high quality. Thanks to its rasikas of high calibre, it provided an opportunity for an interface of high quality artistes and rasikas. Such festivals took the public to a different plane altogether, to the level of “communion with God.”

Describing Bhavan as an institution that had been in the forefront of “intellectual and cultural movement” of the country, he quoted its founder K.M. Munshi as saying it was an institution which had its “faith in the past, the present and the future.”

The movement and the contribution of Bhavan were quite relevant today because of the challenges facing the world which was suffering from “moral deficit,” he added.

T.S. Krishnamurthy, former Chief Election Commissioner and the chairman of the Bhavan's Chennai Kendra, observed that it was honouring the old artists in a bid to express its concern for the old and honouring the young to say that the future was safe in their hands. The Bhavan proposed to extend its activities to T. Nagar and Tiruporur also, he added.

Carnatic musician Nithyasree Mahadevan was presented the P. Gnanambal Memorial Award by Sucharita Reddy, wife of Pratap C. Reddy, chairman, Apollo Hospitals group. Parur M.S. Anantharaman, Sembanarkovil S.R.G. Rajanna, Suguna Varadachari, Prapancham Sitaram and G. Abhilash received Bhavan's Chennai Kendra cultural awards.

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