Concert Kolanka Brothers’ performance lived up to the legacy of their lineage.

Unlike their iconic grandfather Kolanka Venkataraju and father Laxmana Rao, both noted mridangam artistes, Sai Kumar and Anil Kumar established themselves as violinists of high calibre, both as soloists and figuring in duets as well. Both are diploma holders in Carnatic violin, trained by seasoned violinist of the state, Peri Srirama Murthy. Their concert for Vignana Samithi at their venue in Anandanagar confirmed their credentials.

In the company of G. Omprakash on mridangam and V. Sridharacharya on ghatam Sai and Anil opened their concert with Navaragamalika varnam Valachi Vachi of Patnam, swarakalpana in two speeds being its highlight. They followed it with Dikshitar’s Vatapi in Hamsadhwani ending with breezy swaras. After playing Giriraja Sutha of Thyagaraja in Bangla and a quick Niravadhi sukha in Ravichandrika, they chose Latangi as their first melody of the concert and presented it in detail displaying their command on the string instrument with nuances. The presentation of this raga and other melodies later too was shared by both. The kirtana they chose was Marivere of Patnam. The swaras were well distributed between them each sharing colourful swara spells. Later they played Ganesha Pancharatnam ’ written by Adi Sankaracharya and tuned by M.S. Subbulakshmi in ragamalika comprising of Hamsadhwani, Vitapi, Kalyanavasantham, Kadanakutuhalam and Madhyamavati. Sobhillu Saptaswara in Jaganmohini, Roopka talam created right atmosphere for the main number of the concert Upacharamu in Bhairavi. The raga expansion shared by both was evenly presented sticking to traditional approach in building tempo and raga flavour. The expansion into higher octaves revealed their grip both on raga and their instrumental virtuosity as well. The kriti rendition of Thyagaraja, Upacharamulanu was a neat rendition with vocalist touch. The swarakalpana part stuck to melodic line of the raga, with the structures leading to a thrilling conclusion. The tani avartanam by the percussionists was an added attraction for their different shades in rhythmic cycles.

The violinist pair then, for a change, went for a kind of fusion in presenting raga Mayamalava Gowla noted violinists Kumaresh and Ganesh popularised. After playing Papanasam Sivan’s Ennatha Vamshe in Kapi, these Kolanka brothers chose to play light classical number Okapari Okapari in Kharaharapriya of Annamacharya before they concluded the kucheri with Lalgudi’s tillana in Mohanakalyani.


The raga expansion shared by both was evenly presented