Sangeethothsavam 2017 to feature stalwarts
Auckland, April 25, 2017
Carnatic Music lovers can expect a ‘heavy monsoon of Carnatic Music’ early next month as some of the finest musicians from India participate in the annual ‘Sangeethothsavam 2017’ of the New Zealand Carnatic Music Society (NZCMS).
The three-day festival this year, scheduled to be held from June 3 to June 5, 2017 at the Mt Roskill Intermediate School Hall located at Denbigh Avenue in Mt Roskill, Auckland acquires an added dimension as it marks the tenth anniversary of the Festival conducted by the Society.
NZCMS President Mani Narayanaswamy said that students learning music will perform during morning sessions from 9 am to 1230 pm on June 3 and June 5, 2017.
“Sangeethothsavam provides a unique opportunity to students of Carnatic Music to showcase the proficiency that they have achieved in the art. With visiting maestros, teachers and performers attending these sessions, our students also gain confidence in singing at concerts,” he said.
Among the visiting musicians are Sampagodu S Vighnaraja (June 3 at 530 pm), P Unnikrishnan (June 4 at 530 pm) and Dr K N Renganatha Sharma (June 5 at 430 pm).
They will be accompanied by L Ramakrishnan on the Violin and Arjun Kumar on the Mridangam. The performances will be held at the same venue.
Tickets for the Festival, priced at $50 for adults and $40 for Seniors and Youth aged between five and 20 years at $40 per person for a single Concert and $100 for adults and $90 for Seniors and Youth aged between five and 20 years are on sale.
Entry is free to all current members of NZCMS.
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Sampagodu S Vighnaraja
A renowned Indian Carnatic Music Vocalist, Flutist and Music Composer, Sampagodu S Vighnaraja belongs to the legendary G N Balasubramaniam School.
At the tender age of three, he surprised his parents Nagalakshmi and D S Suryanarayana Bhat singing ‘Kalpanaswaram’ (improvisational swaras) for Raag Mayamalava Gowla.
His father, a composer of Krithis in Kannada and Sanskrit, initiated him into Carnatic Music.
Vighnaraja was he Head of the Instrument Section at Temple of Fine Arts in Kuala Lumpur for six years, during which he conducted workshops for students in Malaysia and at the Tainan University of Technology, Taiwan.
He is the founder director of ‘Surya Global Music Academy’ in Bangalore.
P Unnikrishnan was born in a Tamil Iyer family to K Radhakrishnan and Dr Harini Radhakrishnan. Their family home, ‘Kesari Kuteeram,’ was a landmark in Chennai, where his great grandfather Dr K N Kesari practised Ayurvedic medicine.
A graduate in Commerce and Law and a postgraduate diploma holder in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations, Unnikrishnan was an executive at Parry’s Confectionary Limited for seven years (1987-1994) before taking up music as his profession.
However, he began his singing career when he was 12 years old, inspired by Dr S Ramanathan.
He is a National Award-winning playback singer for his debut film songs ‘Ennavale Adi Ennavale’ and ‘Uyirum Neeye,’ composed by A R Rahman.
He was one of the permanent judges in the reality television show ‘AIRTEL Super Singers’ on Vijay TV during the 2006, 2008 and 2010-2011 seasons and ‘Ideas Star Singer’ on Asianet.
However, Unnikrishnan prefers singing classical songs over pop music.
Dr Shertallay K N Renganatha Sharma is a renowned vocal artiste, highly proficient in Carnatic Music. He is Associate Professor of Music at the Sri Sathguru Sangeetha Vidyalayam College and Research Centre for Music affiliated to the Madurai Kamaraj University.
He was groomed by his father K Narayana Iyer, a renowned teacher belonging to the ‘Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer’ tradition.
A top-ranking postgraduate in Music from Calicut University, Renganatha Sharma obtained his MPhil Degree from Madras University and his Doctorate from the Madurai Kamaraj University for his thesis, ‘Analytical Study on Various Laya aspects in Carnatic Music.’
Violinist L Ramakrishnan hails from a musical family and was formally initiated into the art by his mother when he was two years old.
He commenced his schooling in Carnatic Violin at the age of ten under the guidance of Visalam Vageeswar (a disciple of T S Krishnaswami at the Shanmukananda Vidyalaya, Mumbai and was conferred the title of ‘Shanmukha Mani.’
He has accompanied many renowned artistes including T K Govinda Rao, Nedunuri Krishnamurthy and K V Gopalakrishnan.
Bangalore Arjun Kumar is among the most respected Mridangam artistes, having enthralled music lovers over more than 40 years with his inimitable style, novelty, fine aesthetics and precision.
Born in a family of Mridangam artistes, he was initiated in to the art by his father, Arjunan, and later mentored by TAS Mani. He then came under the tutelage of the mridangam legend Umayalpuram K Sivaraman.
Arjun Kumar is one of the youngest ‘A’ Grade artistes of All India Radio.