71st Sri Thyagaraja Festival of Music and Dance begins
It is an aural treat for the music lovers of the temple city with the formal inauguration of the71st annual Sri Thyagaraja Festival of Music and Dance on Sunday. The ten-day event was formally declared open at Sri Thyagaraja Mandapam by N. Murali, Director of The Hindu publications and the President of The Music Academy, Chennai.
In his address, Mr. Murali lauded the efforts of the organisers in not only perpetuating the tradition for over seventy years, but also for bringing some of the best classical musicians from across the country to perform at the holy land every year. While acknowledging the patronage extended by the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) to the cause of music, Mr. Murali asked the temple management to extend financial support to Sri Thyagaraja Trust to help realise its long-cherished dream of constructing an auditorium.
This will help conduct music concerts more regularly and also make the trust self-reliant, he observed.
Mr. Murali, who inaugurated the festival for the third time in eight years, saw a connection between classical music and spirituality and correlated it to the interest evinced by leading musicians to perform at the abode of Lord Venkateswara, right from the Alwars to contemporary musicians.
“It was in 1838 that saint Thyagaraja visited Tirumala temple, but could not have darshan as a drapery was hung in front of the presiding deity.
He sang the now-famous composition ‘Thera Theeyaga Raadha’ that made the curtain miraculously fall down. Such is the power of devotion,” he explained.
Renowned violinist ‘Padma Bhushan’ T.N. Krishnan, who gave the inaugural performance, spoke of his association with the fest and also recalled the yeomen services rendered by the trust’s honorary president M. Krishnaswami, now ailing and under treatment.