The Padma Sarangapani Cultural Academy conferred the title of ‘Padma Sadhana' on Carnatic vocalist Neyveli Santhanagopalan and mridangam exponent Thiruvarur Bhakthavatsalam.
Presenting the honour at the Margazhi Mahotsav of the Academy on Jan. 2, at Virugambakkam, former Chief Election Commissioner T.S. Krishnamurthy said that the two artists had enriched our tradition.
The award carried a citation and a cash award. The two senior artists were recognised for their commitment and dedication to their art and for carrying it beyond frontiers and ideologies.
The citation, among other things, acknowledged “their contribution, through their art, in creating a world that still holds out hope for beauty, peace and progress.”
The solemn occasion was made auspicious when the artists were given the Padma Jyothi, with the students' harmonious rendering of the Guru Stotram in the background.
Narasimhan, secretary of Asthika Samajam and Sikkil R. Baskaran felicitated the artists not just for their achievement, but for being great gurus, fostering their art to the younger generation with love and bhakti.
In his acceptance speech, Neyveli Santhanagopalan commented on the appropriateness of the title and the significance of the Padmam (the lotus) in any spiritual endeavour, music included. Thiruvarur Bhakthavatsalam said that the award has put a great responsibility on his shoulders to continue his ‘Sadhana'.
Speakers commended the awardees for their pursuit of artistic excellence and for carrying forward the rich tradition of the classical arts. The awards function was followed by a soul elevating melodious concert by the duo.
Vocalist Neyveli Santhanagopalan and mridangam exponent Thiruvarur Bhakthavatsalam were honoured.