In the sparkling atmosphere, a gleaming Venkatesh Kumar was felicitated for being honoured with the prestigious Kendriya Sangeet Natak Academy Award on Thursday at Dr. Annajirao Shirur Rangamandir in Dharwad. Renowned film personality and writer Girish Karnad felicitated the musician.
The felicitation ceremony organised jointly by G.B. Joshi Memorial Trust and Bharatiya Sangeet Vidyalaya began with a short presentation on Mr. Kumar's musical journey. Felicitating the musician, Mr. Karnad conveyed to the audience that the award was long overdue for the most talented and promising artist. Mr. Karnad said he was a fan of Mr. Kumar.
In his reply to the felicitation, Mr. Kumar shared his experiences openly with the audience sounding very light at heart.
He narrated his experience with his Guru, the great Dr. Puttraj Gavai of Gadag, new lease of life in Dharwad, professional accolades that he received across the nation, his take on classical music, colleagues and a tremendously successful and satisfying musically evolved, devotionally involved, and humbly spent dignified life. Presiding over the function, Deputy Commissioner Darpan Jain called Mr. Kumar a modest human being and a true-at-heart musician.
The stage programme was followed by short music highlights by Mr. Kumar. He began with “kauna such…” in shahi kanada, his guru's bandish. This was followed by a “Sakhhi…” basant bahar in teen taal. Later, his famous “Pranati ide…” in dadra and the striking “toredu jeevisa bahude…” in jhaptaal pleased all. The audience that was seeping out of Srijan hall made themselves comfortable on the floor and rocked along with the tabla player to Venkatesh's “Bannisalala balla….”. Venkatesh ended his performance with a much awaited “vandu baari smarane saalade….”. He was accompanied by Shridhar Mandre on tabla.
Truly majestic in his voice and throw of notes, Venkatesh once again lured his audience to ask for more and proved his mantle yet again. Like a true royal king of music, the noble and humble Venkatesh acknowledged all his well wishers and sought blessings of all elders. He was given a standing ovation to mark his contribution to classical music.