Adithyanarayanan emerges winner

(From left to right) Mr Rajiv Lochan, MD & CEO, The Hindu, Mr. R.V. Shekar, MD, Lancor, Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah handing over the trophy to S. Adithyanarayanan, Mr. Vikram Mehra, MD, Saregama India Limited and Mr. Ramesh Babu, CGM, SBI.Photo: K. V. Srinivasan  

The fourth edition of The Hindu-Saregama MS Subbulakshmi Award 2015, Voice of the Year, saw five finalists take the stage in front of a large gathering of connoisseurs of classical music at The Music Academy.

The judges were Nithyasree Mahadevan, S. Rajeswari, K. Krishna Kumar and Rajkumar Bharati. Each singer was given 20 minutes to present a ‘mini concert’ with a warm-up number, a main piece complete with alapana, niraval, swaras and a breezy concluding piece.

The onus of bringing out the best in them in a capsule form is no easy task, but the youngsters seemed quite sure of themselves.

The first to take the stage was Adithyanarayanan, who exhibited a potent voice backed by flashy presentation. His ‘Sri Jalandhara’ in Gambira Nattai was segued to the essay of Kharaharapriya with ‘Pakkala Nilabadi’ embellished with niraval and swaras and ending with ‘Irakkam Varamal’ in Behag.

The second performer, R. Rajalakshmi has a soprano voice, which she used to full advantage in her rendition of ‘Vijayambike’ in Vijayanagari and an Arabhi raga treatise leading to ‘Nada Sudha Rasam.’

Abilash Venkitachalam has a lovely voice with an amazing range, his deft handling of a heavy raga such as Harikhambodi (‘Muruga Thirumal Maruga’) as a main piece was, indeed, imposing.

Keerthana Vaidyanathan’s syrupy vocals came to the fore in ‘Shyama Sundaranga’ in Dhanyasi and the Poorvikalyani raga extension with ‘Meenakshi Memudam;’ it won her brownie points.

The last participant Arjun B. Krishna was a tad showy with his ‘Santana Manjari,’ a melaraga kriti followed by Thodi and ‘Kolyvamaraegatha’ as the centre piece.

The spirit of competition and diligence in preparation, coupled with faith and confidence in presentation were palpable in the performances of these vocalists. But, when it came to the selection of the winner, the factors were narrowed down with focus on the artists’ choice, ingenuity and the overall presentation. Though all the performances stood out in one way or the other, the wrapping up had to be on the one who scored the maximum points in all sections. It looked like it might be a close tie between Adithyanaryanan and Abilash for their powerful projections. Detailing a deep raga such as Harikhambodi is akin to walking on a razor’s edge as flashes of ragas, with a close resemblance to it, could intrude. Indubitably, Abilash did a remarkable job. Perhaps the veteran jurists’ expert views found them more significant than Adithyanaryanan’s inconsequential slips in the upper registers.

The winner was, therefore, Adithyanarayanan who received the The Hindu-Saregama MS Subbulakshmi Award 2015 from the Governor of Tamil Nadu Dr. K. Rosiah.

M.S. Subbulakshmi’s music is unique because of her ability to infuse the element of devotion and emotion in her music. Honestly speaking, did we find all that in the performances that day? Wish in the future, the judges of The Hindu-Saregama MS Subbulakshmi award would reserve some special credits for this aspect in the participants’ presentations.

The performers received excellent support from highly professional and considerate artists such as V.V. Srinivasa Rao (violin), Mannarkoil J Balaji (mridangam), Vaikom Gopalakrishnan (ghatam) and Saraswati (tambura).

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 4:03:24 AM |

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