Sustaining Sampradaya 2009 — 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. Again in 2008, The Aradhana Committee presented Prahladha Bhakthi Vijayam, Thyagaraja's geya natakam and the Kamalamba Navavaranams of Muthuswamy Dikshithar by the Sustaining Sampradaya group to critical acclaim.

The 32nd year Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival is scheduled to start on Friday April 10, 2009 and will be dedicated to the memory of the great vidwan Semmangudi Sri Srinivasa Iyer — 2009 being his centenary year. The Cleveland Festival would also like to highlight the musical genius of the other Trinity, Syama Sastri in this festival. With these two themes in mind, the Aradhana Committee offers you the following opportunities.

Sustaining Sampradaya — Homage to Semmangudi Sri Srinivasa Iyer

Inaugural Concert
Saturday April 11, 2009; 4:00pm–6:30pm

The doyen of Carnatic music, Semmangudi Sri Srinivasa Iyer had a vast repertoire and his music was innovative yet was steeped in tradition. He was inspired by the great nadaswara vidwans of his time and his musical presentations closely resembled their style or bani. The Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival and Vidwan Sri P.S. Narayanaswamy, one of the senior-most disciples of Sri Semmangudi in consultation with other vidwans and vidushis have put together a typical "Semmangudi Concert".

  1. Siddhi Vinayakam — Shanmukhapriya, Roopakam, Dikshithar
  2. Deva Deva — Mayamalavagowlai, Roopakam, Swati Thirunal
  3. Gajavadana — Thodi, Aadhi, Kumara Ettendra
  4. Janani Ninnuvina — Reethigowlai, Misra Chapu, Subbaraya Sastri
  5. Nenendu Vethakudura — Karnataka Behag, Aadhi, Thyagaraja
  6. Pankaja Lochana — Kalyani, Misra Chapu, Swati Thirunal
  7. Ksheenamai — Mukhari, Thyagaraja
  8. Dakshinamurthey — Sankarabharanam, Misra Jampai, Dikshithar\
  9. Hariharaputhram — Vasantha, Kanda Ekam, Dikshithar
  10. R.T.P. — Kambhodhi
  11. Chethasri — Dwijavanthi
  12. Navasiddhi Petralum — Karaharapriya,
  13. Jagadeesa — Nadanamakriya, Aadhi, Swati Thirunal
  14. Slokam
  15. Javali — Behag
  16. Rama Jyothi — Kamas
  17. Thillana — Chenchurutti
  18. Mangalam

Training will be spearheaded by Vidwan Sri P.S. Narayanaswamy and it will also involve other eminent musicians.

Sustaining Sampradaya — Gems of Syama Sastri

Monday April 13, 2009; 6:45pm–9:15pm

The elder of the musical Trinity, Syama Sastri occupies a very unique and exalted place in Carnatic Music. His compositions bear witness to his deep devotion to Devi Kamakshi and at the same time are indicative of his musical scholarship. At once bewitching and yet with a deep underlying complex rhythmic structure, his compositions are soaked in bhava and pose a challenge even to the musically gifted.

The three swarajathis he composed are considered to be masterpieces. The Aradhana Comittee, with the active involvement of senior musicians, has put together a concert around these three swarajathis which bring out the musical genius of this great composer.

  1. Varnam — Anandabhairavi, Ata
  2. Tharunam Edamma — Gowlipanthu, Adi
  3. Kamakshi — Yadukulakambhodhi (Swarajathi), Misra Chapu
  4. Sankari Sankuru — Saveri, Adi (Thisra Nadai)
  5. Devi Brova Samayamithey — Chinthamani, Adi
  6. Rave Himagiri — Thodi (Swarajathi), Adi
  7. Nannubrova — Lalitha, Misra Chapu
  8. Sarojadalanethri — Sankarabharanam, Adi
  9. Parakela — Kedaragowlai, Adi
  10. Kamakshi — Bhairavi (Swarajathi), Misra Chapu
  11. Mayamma — Ahiri, Adi
  12. Brovavamma — Manji, Misra Chapu
  13. Kanakasaila — Punnagavarali, Adi
  14. Karunajooda — Sri, Adi

Training will be spearheaded by Vidwan Sri P.S. Narayanaswamy and it will also involve other eminent musicians.

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 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 October 24, 2008. The above panel will select performers out of the pool of applicants, and these will be notified by November 5th.

Training by India-based vidwans will begin on November 14, 2008. There will be a minimum of 2 classes per week. We will be using Highspeed Conferencing or other Internet-based tools 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 mid-November and has to continue up till the festival. The final rehearsal will be in Cleveland on Thursday April 9, 2009.

If you would like to be considered for participation in either one or both of these concerts, please email Gopi Sundaram ( 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, 2009)
  • 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 & 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 an earlier Sustaining Sampradaya program)
  • 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:

4 Cranbury Brook Drive
Millstone Twp NJ 08535-8156

Please write your name and the words 'Inaugural Concert' or 'Syama Sastri Concert' 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:

  • Homage to Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer — $1,500 per person
  • Gems of Syama Sastri — $1,500 per person

These fees are payable on or before November 14, 2008.

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 the last two years' concerts, we are confident that the 2009 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.

V V Sundaram