San Diego arts festival celebrates Ravi Shankar's 91st birthday

Pandit Ravi Shankar has made San Diego his home for many years now and it was only fitting that this beautiful city paid tribute to the living legend in grand style recently. The Indian Fine Arts Academy, San Diego (IFAASD), spearheaded by Shekar Viswanathan, organised its fourth annual music and dance festival (April 14-17) and featured 64 music and dance artistes from India, United States of America and Muscat.

The felicitation ceremony on April 16 saw Pandit Ravi Shankar and three other veterans — R.K. Srikanthan, M. Balamuralikrishna and N. Ramani — being honoured for their lifetime contributions to music. V.V. Sundaram (noted promoter of culture), Geetha Bennett (musician) and T.S.R. Krishnan (scholar from California) offered felicitations to the artistes.

Council member Sherri S. Lightner, president of La Jolla Town Council and La Jolla Shores Association, presented the Proclamation of the City Council to Shekar Viswanathan, secretary of IFAASD "in appreciation of the heritage represented by the Indian Music and Dance Festival".

Priti Gandhi, a native of Mumbai and a well-known opera singer, paid a special tribute to Ravi Shankar by singing the national anthems of USA and India. She also performed an aria. National Film Award-winning singer and composer Shankar Mahadevan, on a promotional tour to popularise his music school, Shankar Mahadevan Academy, dedicated his brief but memorable performance to Ravi Shankar.

A short video of rare and unseen footage from Ravi Shankar's musical career was also screened during the course of the evening.

The four-day arts festival commenced on 14 April with 'Bamboo Melodies' by Shashank Subramanyam, followed by a programme titled 'Generations of Genius' that featured M. Balamuralikrishna and Chitravina N. Ravikiran. The 'Ramayana: Bala Kandam', — music and lyrics by N. Ravikiran and choreographed by Savithri Jagannatha Rao — part of an original five-part series to be premiered at the Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival, 2011, was showcased here. Thirteen dancers from India, USA and Muscat, including an orchestra of eight musicians participated in this exclusive feature presentation. Some of the other programmes featured were 'Flights of Fantasy' by Ganesh-Kumaresh (violin duo), 'Mesmerising Melodies' by R.K. Srikanthan and 'Margam', a Bharatanatyam programme by Lavanya Ananth. In a well co-ordinated effort, more than 100 young students of Carnatic music, trained by San Diego teachers C.M. Venkatachalam and Revathi Subramanian, sang in one voice. For the full programme, visit >

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 4:42:19 AM |

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