Sustaining Sampradaya 2010 — 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, the 2008 and 2009 concerts by the Sustaining Sampradaya group were received to critical acclaim.

The 33rd year Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival is scheduled to start on Thursday April 1, 2010 and will be dedicated to the memory of the great vidwan Sri G.N. Balasubramaniam, 2010 being his centenary year. The Aradhana Committee would also like to highlight the musical genius of another great composer, Maharaja Sri Swathi Thirunal in this festival. With these two themes in mind, the Aradhana Committee offers you the following opportunities:

Sustaining Sampradaya — Homage to Sri G.N. Balasubramaniam

Inaugural Concert
Saturday April 3, 2010; 4:00pm–6:30pm

GNB's rise was meteoric in the music world of his time and in many ways he was a trend-setter in the classical arts. His emphasize on manodharmam and fast paced brighas captivated the hearts of the rasikas and he was recognized as a musical giant even by his peers. 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 Trichur Sri V. Ramachandran, one of the senior-most disciples of Sri GNB, in consultation with other vidwans and vidushis have put together a typical "GNB Concert".

  1. Amboruha Padame — Ranjani Varnam, Adi, G.N. Balasubramaniam
  2. Vinayaka Ninnuvina — Hamsadhwani, Adi, Veenai Kuppaiyer
  3. Manasa Etulo — Malayamarutham, Roopakam, Thyagaraja
  4. Paripalaya — Panthuvarali, Adi, Swathi Thirunal
  5. Ragasudharasa — Andolika, Adi, Thyagaraja
  6. Yochana Kamala Lochana — Darbar, Adi, Thyagaraja
  7. Vitajaladura — Janaranjani, Adi, Thyagaraja
  8. Sri Subrahmanyaya Namasthe — Kambodhi, Roopakam, Dikshithar (Thani avarthanam)
  9. Nenarunchinanu — Malavi, Adi, Thyagaraja
  10. R.T.P. — Kalyani, Adi, "Un Dharisanam Kidaikkumo" Sahana, Kanada, Behag, and Bowli (Thani avarthanam)
  11. Himagirithanaye — Suddha Dhanyasi, Adi, Muthiah Bhagavathar
  12. Karanam Kettuvadi — Poorvikalyani, Adi, Gopalakrishna Bharathi
  13. Thikku Theriyatha Kattil — Ragamalikai, Subrahmanya Bharathi
  14. Dharma Shravana — Durga, Adi, Purandaradasa
  15. Jayathi Jayathi Bharatha Matha — Kamas, Adi, Mayuram Viswanatha Sastry

Training will be spearheaded by Vidwan Sri Trichur Ramachandran, Smt. Charumathi Ramachandran, and Smt. Sudha Raghunathan and it will also involve other eminent musicians.

Sustaining Sampradaya — Gems of Swathi Thirunal

Monday April 5, 2010; 6:45pm–9:15pm

Maharaja Swathi Thirunal occupies a very unique and exalted place in Carnatic Music. His compositions bear witness to his deep devotion to Lord Padmanabha of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and at the same time are indicative of his musical scholarship. At once bewitching and yet with a deep underlying complex rhythmic structure, his are soaked in "bhava" and pose a challenge even to the musically gifted.

The Aradhana Committee, with the active involvement of senior musicians, has put together a concert around the Maharaja's compositions which bring out the musical genius of this great composer.

  1. Sarasijanabha — Kambodhi Varnam, Ata
  2. Gopalaka Pahimam — Revagupthi, Mishra Chapu
  3. Smara Sada Manasa — Bilahari, Adi
  4. Rama Rama Guna Seema — Simhendramadhyamam, Adi
  5. Bhogindra Shayinam — Kunthalavarali, Jhampa
  6. Sumasayaka — Kapi Pada Varnam, Roopakam (Thani avarthanam)
  7. Gopanandana — Bhushavali, Adi
  8. Bhavayami Raghuramam — Ragamalikai, Roopakam
  9. Alarsara — Churutti Padam, Mishra Chapu
  10. Kanthanodu Chennu — Neelambhari Padam, Roopakam
  11. Tharuni Gnan — Dwijavanthi, Mishra Chapu
  12. Aliveni Enducheyyum — Kurinchi, Mishra Chapu
  13. Itu Sahasamulu — Saindhavi, Adi
  14. Visweswara Darisanam — Sindhu Bhairavi, Roopakam
  15. Thillana — Dhanasri, Adi

Training will be spearheaded by Vidushi Smt. Suguna Varadachary, Vidushi Smt. Parasala Ponnammal and Vidwan Sri P.S. Narayanaswamy. Other eminent musicians will also be part of the training program.

The Process

Please note that these two concerts will lay a lot of emphasize on raga elaboration, kalpana swaram and other aspects of manodharmam. We plan to give fairly rigorous training on these besides giving the participants a very authentic and traditional version of the krithis.

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 17, 2009. The above panel will select the performers out of the pool of applicants, and these will be notified by October 31st.

Training by India-based vidwans will begin on November 7, 2009. 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 1, 2010.

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 1, 2010)
  • 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 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 'Swathi Thirunal 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 G.N. Balasubramaniam — $1,500 per person
  • Gems of Swathi Thirunal — $1,500 per person

These fees are payable on or before November 7, 2009.

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 previous years' concerts, we are confident that the 2010 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