Rajhesh Vaidya, one of the most popular Veena artistes was the star of the Concert held at Dorothy Winstone Centre, Auckland Girls Grammar School on Saturday, July 15, 2017.
He returned to New Zealand after 28 years – that was his first travel out of India.
Tribute to Mothers
Rajhesh started the programme with ‘Amma Enrazhaikkaadha Uyirillaiyae,’ a highly emotional song written by Vaali and composed by Ilayaraja for the Tamil film ‘Mannan’ (1992); followed by ‘Thiruppuram Kundrathil Nee Siritthal’ (a Poovai Senguttuvan song rendered by Rajalakshmi and P Susheela) featured in ‘Kandan Karunai’ (1967) which had KV Mahadevan as Music Director.
Ten Songs Non-Stop
Rajhesh rendered ten songs non-stop, starting with ‘Unnai Kanatha Kannum Kannalla,’ sung by P Susheela in ‘Idayak Kamalam,’ a great song written by Kannadasan and tuned by KV Mahadevan.
Hari Priya & Anand Aravindakshan
Hari Priya, who won the acclaim of the judges of Star Vijay Super Singers Competition, stole the hearts of the audience when she rendered ‘Mannavan Vandanadi,’ an immortal song sung by P Susheela (written by Kannadasan and tuned by KV Mahadevan for ‘Tiruvautchelvar, a 1967 Tamil film) and picturised on Padmini who performed a vivacious dance in Bharata Natyam style.
She later presented ‘Vellai Pura Onru’ (original sung by KJ Yesudas and S Janaki for ‘Pudukavithai,’ released in 1982; music by Ilayaraja) with Anand Aravindakshan, winner of the ‘Super Singers’ competition.
They later joined Rajhesh to render a medley of songs taken from Tamil hits of 1950s and 1960s such as ‘Pasa Malar,’ ‘Amara Deepam,’ ‘Panakkara Kudumbam,’ ‘Velli Vizha.’
Organised by our community leaders and musicians including Suren Surendran, a part of the proceeds of the programme will be donated to ‘Gandhi Illam New Zealand Trust,’ a charity organisation that supports children in Sri Lanka.
Mimic Artiste Muralidhar Naveen
The second half of the programme began with Mimicry by Muralidhar Naveen, who appears regularly in ‘Kalakka Povathu Yaaru,’ on Star Vijay TV. His repertoire ranged from MGR and Shivaji Ganesan to Kamala Hasan, Rajanikanth, Ajit and Vikrant.
Anand Aravindakshan and Hari Priya rendered ‘Vizhiye Kadhai Ezhudhu,’ from ‘Urimai Kural,’ a 1974 Tamil film starring MGR and Latha. The song, written by Kannadasan and composed by MS Viswanathan, was performed by KJ Yesudas and P Susheela.
In the final segment, Rajhesh performed requests from the audience. They included ‘Ullatthil Nalla Ullam’ (Karnan), ‘Namma Ooru Singari’ (Ninaithale Inikkum), ‘Vishwanathan Velai Vendum’ (Kathalikka Neramillai).’
About Rajhesh Vaidya
Those of us who have grown with world-renowned Veena masters such as S Balachander, Chitti Babu and Doraiswami Iyengar appreciated the divinity of this great instrument –believed to be the gift of Goddess Saraswathi, who is always seen with the Veena in her hands. We have watched and applauded these maestros perform miracles with this stringed instrument.
Rajhesh is a chip of the old block. Born into a musically endowed family, he inherited the talent of his father K M Vaidyanathan, a Mridangam and Ghatam master. Inspired and encouraged by him, Rajhesh was also highly influenced by the mastery of Chitti Babu. With such pedagogues, he began to fine-tune his nuances on the Veena and the result has been magical. He later came under the tutelage of Lakshminarayana Shankar (or Shenkar).
Organised by our community leaders and musicians including Suren Surendran, a part of the proceeds of the programme was donated to ‘Gandhi Illam New Zealand Trust,’ a charity organisation that supports children in Sri Lanka.
We were told that the Trust has so far collected more than $400,000 through such programmes and donations. Our felicitations to the Sri Lankan community, Suren Surendran and other organisers.