Tiruchi J. Venkat raman and three other veteran artists were lauded for their service to Carnatic music.
As part of its silver jubilee celebrations, Sadguru Gnanananda Sangeet Sammelan honoured four senior vidwans, who contributed immensely to Carnatic music. Vidwan Tiruchi J. Venkatraman was honoured with the title of Acharya Sreshta, cash award and a gold medal. Vidwan Kovai V. Mohanram, also from Tiruchi, was conferred the title Sangeetha Mani, cash award and a medal.
The other two vidwans honoured with silver salvers were violinist Kanchi S. Janardhanam and mridanga vidwan P. Srinivasan. Tiruchi Venkatraman is one of the most sought after gurus today. At 76, he has been teaching a number of students, both here and abroad. Having started singing at the age of 19, he has been in the field as a teacher for an unbroken span of 57 years, including a 34 year stint at AIR.
Venkatraman is a different kind of a guru. “Are you not invited to perform concerts or is it that you were not interested in seeking platforms?” To this JV’s reply is , “Some opportunities come and go which I gladly accept. But I do not go after them.” “But I teach with a vengeance!” He recalls the award The Music Academy gave him almost half a century ago as a junior vidwan and the gold medal that he won for his Pallavi singing, from the same institution, later. Venkatraman insists that guru bhakti is the most vital component to learn music. “One can not shine without it,” he avers.
Ghatam vidwan V. Mohanram,hasaccompanied many senior vidwans and has served the AIR, Coimbatore, for a number of years.
Although Kanchi Janardhanam hails from Vellore, it was the Kanchi Mahaswamigal who gave him the prefix ‘Kanchi’ and honoured him for his services in the temple town. Janardhanam has disciples all over the world, including one of his early disciples, S. Varadarajan, who is a top-ranking violin artist today.
Mridanga vidwan P. Srinivasan was a disciple of Palakkad Mani Iyer for well over 17 years. Trusted? “Yes, Mani Iyer would never handle cash. So, he would ask me to deposit money in the bank or keep it with me for his requirements.”