Sustaining Sampradaya 2008 — Announcement

The 30th year Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival held on April 7, 2007 made musical history. Thirty young Indian-Americans trained by some of the leading vidwans of Carnatic music gave a spellbinding concert to a packed auditorium on the inaugural day. Excerpts of the concert have been posted on YouTube.

The enthusiasm of the participants, the success of the concert, the appreciation of the performance by vidwans, rasikas and critics, and the requests for a similar opportunity in 2008 from quite a few have prompted the Aradhana Committee to propose the following opportunities in the 2008 Festival which is scheduled to start on Friday March 21, 2008.

Sustaining Sampradaya — Prahlada Bhakti Vijayam

Saturday March 22, 2008; 7:15pm–10:00pm

This is one of the 'Geya Nataka' (Dance Drama) of the Saint consisting of 45 Kritis in 28 ragas with 'Gadyams' (Prose) and 'Padyams' (Poetry). A selection of these will be performed by the group:

  1. Sri Ganapathi Nee — Sourashtram
  2. Vasudevayani — Kalyani
  3. Sagarundu — Yamunakalyani
  4. Vinathasutha Rara — Huseni
  5. Vishnu Vahana — Sankarabharanam
  6. Vaarithi Neeku Vandanamu — Todi
  7. Vacchunu Hari — Kalyani
  8. Vandanamu Raghunandana — Sahana
  9. Naradamuni — Pantuvarali
  10. Ennaga manasu — Neelambari
  11. Enati Nomu Phalamu — Bhairavi
  12. Adugu Varamula — Arabhi
  13. Eti Janmam — Varali
  14. Varija Nayana — Kedaragowlai
  15. Dayaraani — Mohanam
  16. Nannu Vidichi — Reethigowlai
  17. Ra Rama Intiki — Asaveri
  18. Kamala Bavudu — Kalyani
  19. Challare — Ahiri
  20. Jaya Mangalam — Mohanam

Thyagaraja does not have a place for Hiranyakashipu in this work. The whole drama portrays the love and devotion of Prahlada towards Vishnu (by extension to Rama) through some of his most stunning compositions.

The lead teachers for this program are Sri P.S. Narayanaswamy, Smt. Suguna Varadachari, Smt. Suguna Purushothaman, Smt. Jayalakshmi Santhanam and Neyveli Sri Santhanagopalan.

Sustaining Sampradaya — Kamalamba Navavaranams of Dikshitar

Monday March 24, 2008; 8:00pm–9:30pm

These kritis were composed in praise of the Ambal in the temple in Thiruvarur, the birth place of the musical Trinity. These represent the ultimate in exploiting the musical grandeur of the rakthi ragas and the subtleties of complex talas thus providing a musical challenge even to the well initiated.

Before beginning the Navavaranams, two krithis were added at the suggestion of Sri R.K. Shrikantan:

  1. Sri Mahaganapathi — Gowlai
  2. Balasubrahmanyam Bhajeham — Surati

The Navavarana krithis are:

  1. Kamalambike — Todi — Rupakam DHYANA KRITI
  2. Kamalamba Samrakshathu — Anandabhairavi — Misra Chapu
  3. Kamalambaam Bhajare — Kalyani — Adi
  4. Sri Kamalambikayam — Shankarabharanam — Rupakam
  5. Kamalambikayai — Kambhoji — (Khanda) Ata
  6. Sri Kamalamba param — Bhairavi — Misra Jampa
  7. Kamalambikayaastava — Punnagavarali — Rupakam
  8. Sri Kamalambikayam — Sahana — Tisra Triputa
  9. Sri Kamalambike — Ghanta — Adi
  10. Sri Kamalamba Jayati — Ahiri — Rupakam
  11. Sri Kamalambike — Sri — Kanda Ekam MANGALA KRITI

The lead teachers are Vidwan Sri R. K. Srikantan and Vidwan Sri P. S. Narayanaswamy. Dr. Pappu Venugopal Rao, a scholar in Telugu, Sanskrit and Philosophy will provide a brief commentary on each of these kriti-s during the concert.

The Process

The concert format will be set by a panel of senior vidwans which will include vocalists, violinists, veena vidwans, flute artists and percussion instrumentalists.

The concert format will be set by a panel of senior vidwans which will include vocalists, violinists, veena vidwans, flute artists and percussion instrumentalists. The total number of performers for each of these programs will be limited and will include vocalists and accompanists. Although this will be a group performance, we think that there will still be scope to exhibit individual talent. Expression of interest should be received by the Aradhana Committee no later than November 27, 2007. The above panel will select the performers out of the pool of applicants, and these will be notified by December 1st. The list will also be posted in our web site. Training by India based vidwans will begin by 1st week of December. There will be a minimum of 2 classes per week. We will be using Skype or other Internet based tools as well as telephones for imparting training.

If you are interested, please note that you should be ready to invest your time both for the classes as well as for the practice. This commitment has to begin in early December and has to continue up till the festival. The final rehearsal will be in Cleveland on Thursday March 20, 2008.

If you would like to be considered for participation in either one or both of these concerts, please email Gopi Sundaram (gopi@aradhana.org) with the following details:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your residence, day time and cell phone numbers
  • Your e-mail addresses
  • Your age (as of March 31, 2008)
  • Which program(s) you are interested in
  • A short summary on your musical progress (less than 250 words)
  • List of teachers from whom you have learnt music
  • A short biography of your current music teacher (less than 250 words)
  • Your current music teacher's address, telephone numbers, and e-mail address
  • A maximum of 12 minute recording consisting of an introduction and a performance. The introduction should give your name, city and state and what you are trying to highlight in the performance. This should not exceed 2 minutes. This should be followed by a performance which should not exceed 10 minutes. Both should be in one file and should be in MP3 format. (This item is not needed if you had participated in the Sustaining Sampradaya concert of 2007)
  • All text data should only be given as Microsoft Word document and all audio recordings should only be in MP3 format.

There is a non refundable application fee of US $100 per concert. The check should be made payable to the Aradhana Committee, and mailed to the following address:

3447 Granton Avenue
Cleveland OH 44111

Please write you name and the words 'Prahlada Bhakti Vijayam' or 'Kamalamba Navavaranam' on the face of the check at an appropriate place.

How the Selection Works

The selection process will be handled entirely by the India-based senior vidwans, and their decision will be final. No member of the Aradhana Committee will be part of the decision making process.

If you are accepted by the panel to participate in any of the performances, we will immediately inform you about all the modalities of the training process. These include class schedules, concert items with ragas and talams, assignment of Vidwans for training, on line availability of the teaching materials, et cetera.

Please note that the vidwans who will impart the training are musicians of great eminence and repute, and we expect that the participants be sensitive to this great honor.

If you are selected and if you accept our offer, there will be a training fee which is:

  • Prahlada Bhakti Vijayam — $1,500 per person
  • Kamalamba Navavaranam — $1,500 per person

We recognize that the training process is going to be intense and rigorous, but we also know that it is a very unique way to attain musical proficiency of high caliber in a very short time. Based on our experience with last year's inaugural concert, we are confident that the 2008 concerts will also prove to be memorable.

We had an overwhelming response for this initiative last year, and I hope that you will choose to respond to this year's initiative also in a similarly positive way.