The Andhra Music Academy celebrated its seventh anniversary recently.

The Hari Hara Kala Bhavan at Secunderabad was once again the venue for the anniversary celebration of Andhra Music Academy (AMA). The six-day festival had poor attendance. It is better that hereafter, the festival is held at Ravindra Bharati or Rajaji Hall in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan keeping in mind that no other major sabha is holding a music festival at the same time. As usual, the front hall of the theatre was used to hold an informative exhibition reflecting Andhra culture and traditions, with portraits and photographs of rulers who patronised these art forms. There were tasteful slogans placed at every corner to inspire the younger generation of art lovers, reminding them of greatness of our culture and art forms. The title given for this is Andhra Vaibhavam. The surprise, but appropriate inclusion in the awardees list, this year, was Padma Subramanyam, renowned Bharatanatya exponent, who specialised in the Karanas, and earned a doctorate. On the inaugural evening, she was conferred with the title of Natya Vidya Nidhi, presented by D. Purandhareswari, Minister of State for Human Resources on behalf of AMA. However, Padma reserved her lecture demonstration on her favourite subject of Karanas for the next day. Justice G. Raghuram of A.P. High Court was also present at the inaugural function. On the last day of the festival, well known Hindustani vocalist Malini Rajurkar and veteran mridangan vidwan V. Kamalakara Rao were also conferred with the title of Sangeetha Vidya Nidhi. All these titles also carried a cash award of Rs. 33,033, a gold medal, a citation, a shawl and a memento. The Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court, Justice C.S. Singhvi lauded the selection of right kind of artistes for these prestigious awards. K. I. Varaprasad Reddy of Shanta Biotechnics and a Padma Sri awardee, appealed to the Academy to construct a building to undertake research in `Music for Health' and promised that he would donate to the project. The festival was inaugurated by Sadguru Sivananda Murthy, a spiritual leader and founder of the Academy. The morning session was allotted for up and coming musicians and for lecture demonstrations, while the evening part featured seasoned artistes and dance dramas. Young vocalist N.C. S. Ravali opened the concert sessions with her brief recital, marked by Pranamamyaham in Gowla and Dikshitar Kriti Sriranganatham in Poornachandrika. There was also a number in Kalyani too. This was followed by a recital by another young musician, Kamala Ramani, who presented Latangi (Marivere of Patnam) and a rare raga Bhujangini with Annamayya composition Eduta Nunnadu. In the evening, a veena recital by Geetha Krishnamurthy of Chennai with Sudhakar on mridangam and S. Rajaram on ghatam followed. On the second day U. Nagamani's mandolin show was the main attraction. . Nagamani's solo was a brilliant exercise. The night show was that of Hyderabad Brothers D. Raghavachary and Seshachari. The highlight of the third day events was O.S. Thyagarajan's vocal. His strength is sriti perfection and laya excellence, which were in full view. He opened with Athana for Narada Gana Lola. The swarakalpana was an attraction, maintaining the melodic line. Yella supported him on mridangam, reflecting each note on mridangam adding special appeal. There was also a vocal recital by M.S. Vidya of Bangalore who appeared on the fourth day was marked by Thodi (Kaddanuvariki) as main effort. On day five, a violin trio in Carnatic style by the scions of Dwaram family was a highlight. They are all grand children of the renowned Dwaram Venkataswami Naidu, a legend in his own lifetime. Dwaram Durga Prasad, Dwaram Satyanarayana Rao and Poosarla Manorama, this trio displayed the style of their grandfather. Kumar Mardur from Pune who displayed a veteran's skills and richness in voice. He rendered Madhuvanti khyal with two bandishes. It was a brilliant recital with enviable vocal compass and sruti proximity in all the octaves. In the morning Sai Kartikeya gave a brief recital, while in the evening Duddu Sitaramaiah figured in a veena recital. In the morning Garimella Balakrishna Prasad, who specialises in the rendition of Annamayya kirtanas performed.