Vocalist Nithyashri Mahadevan and theatre personality S.Ve. Shekher received the ‘Gaana Padhmam' and ‘Naataka Padhmam' titles awarded by Brahma Gana Sabha, here on Friday.
Bharanatyam exponent Vyjayanthimala Bali, the ‘Naatya Padhmam' awardee, would receive it later as she is currently travelling, the organisers said.
The award ceremony marked the beginning of Brahma Gana Sabha's arts festival this year, at the Smt. Sivagami Pethachi Auditorium. Inaugurating the festival, K.Jayarama Krishnan, vice-president, Tata Consultancy Services, spoke on the need to use information technology to propagate Indian tradition.
He said he was working on an initiative that would enable a group of select college students to develop themselves into performers of classical arts. Ms. Mahadevan attributed the honour to the blessings of her paternal grandmother D. K. Pattammal, maternal grandfather Palghat Mani Iyer, and the effort and support of her family. Ms. Mahadevan has instituted an award in the name of D.K.Pattammal to be awarded by the sabha. This year, musician T.N.Seshagopalan will receive the honour.
Mr. Shekher said the December music festival was perhaps one of the biggest in the world, with nearly 2,000 performances scheduled. He recalled the first day of his career as a theatre artist and said that he owed the honour to V.Gopalakrishnan, who blessed him on day one.
A.Natarajan, former director of Doordarshan Kendra, Chennai, showered encomiums on president of the Sabha Nalli Kuppusami Chetti for his support and passion in promoting the arts. Nearly 1,000 artists would be involved directly and indirectly, in as many as 183 performances scheduled in Brahma Gana Sabha during the season, he added.
Earlier, Nalli Kuppusami Chetti delivered the welcome address. The ‘Nalli's December music festival guide' was also launched on the occasion.