Sustaining Sampradaya 2011 — 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, 2009, and 2010 concerts by the Sustaining Sampradaya group were received to critical acclaim.

The 34th year Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival is scheduled to start on Thursday April 21, 2011 and will be dedicated to the memory of the great Natyacharya Vazhuvoor Sri B. Ramaiah Pillai, 2011 being his centenary year. The Aradhana Committee would also like to highlight the musical genius of composers from the state of Karnataka, who composed in the Kannada language. With these two themes in mind, the Aradhana Committee offers you the following opportunities:

Sustaining Sampradaya — The Music of Dance

Inaugural Concert
Saturday April 23, 2011; 4:00pm–6:30pm

Very few have influenced the Bharatha Natyam dance as much as the legendary Vazhuvoor Sri B. Ramaiah Pillai. His dance lineage goes back a thousand years and inscriptions are found in temple walls which talk about his ancestors teaching Bharathanatyam to Kundavai, the sister of the great king Raja Raja Chola who ruled in the 10th century. His approach to art had been an unbroken tradition of a millennium which was also refined and codified by the Tanjore Quartet.

The Aradhana Committee and Acharya Rathnakara Smt. Suguna Varadachari, in consultation with other vidwans and vidushis, have put together this very special concert.

  1. Kaithala Niraikani Appamodu (Thiruppugazh) — Gambheera Nattai, Adi, Arunagirinathar
    Dance interpretation by Smt. Rhadha
  2. Mathe Malayathwaja — Khamas Varnam, Adi, Harikesanallur Mutthiah Bhagavathar
    Dance interpretation by Smt. Rhadha
  3. Lavanya Rama — Poorna Shadjam, Roopakam, Thyagaraja
    Dance interpretation by Smt. Sujatha Srinivasan
  4. Ananda Natana Prakasam - Kedaram, Mishra Chapu, Dikshitar
    Dance interpretation by Kum. Pooja Kumar
  5. Venkata Saila Nivasa - Hameer Kalyani, Adi, Subbaraya Sastri
    Dance interpretation by Thirunangai Narthaki Nataraj
  6. Rasa Vilasa — Kambodhi, Adi, Swathi Thirunal
  7. Vananai Mathi Choodiya Mainthanai (Appar Thevaram) — Keeravani, Mishra Chapu
    Dance interpretation by Smt. Padmini Krishnamurthy
  8. Ninainthodi Vanden — Raga-Tala Malika, Ponniah Pillai (Thani Avarthanam)
    Dance interpretation by Smt. Radha, Thirunangai Narthaki Nataraj, Smt. Sangeetha Vasudevan
  9. Samikku Sari Evvare — Kedaragowlai, Adi, Papanasam Sivan
    Dance interpretation by Kum. Sangita Iswaran
  10. Ososi (Padam) — Mukhari, Mishra Chapu, Muddhu Natesa
  11. Enthadi Kuluke (Javali) — Kalyani, Roopakam, Pattabhiramayya
    Dance interpretation by Smt. Rhadha
  12. Netru Andhi Nerathile (Padam) — Huseni, Mishra Chapu, Ganam Krishna Iyer
    Dance interpretation by Smt. Ramya Ramnarayan
  13. Samayamidhe — Behag, Roopakam, Patnam Subramania Iyer
  14. Sakhi Pranasakhuditu (Javali) — Chenchurutti, Adi, Dharmapuri Subbarayar
    Dance interpretation by Smt. Priya Ramdoss
  15. Cheli Nenetlu Sahinthune (Javali) — Paras, Adi, Tanjore Chinnaiah
  16. Thillana - Churutti

Training will be spearheaded by Acharya Rathnakara Smt. Suguna Varadachari and it will also involve other eminent musicians.

Sustaining Sampradaya — Gems from Karnataka

Monday April 25, 2011; 6:45pm–9:15pm

Modern day Karnataka occupies a very unique and exalted place in Carnatic music being the birth place of Purandara Dasa, the Pitamaha of Carnatic music. The krithi form of today's compositions owe their origin to the Dasar padams of the 15th century. The compositions of various Dasars, Mysore Sri Vasudevachar, Mysore Sri Sadasiva Rao, the Mysore Maharaja and others have piety of high order and music of enchanting quality. These are compositions that elevate the soul and touch the hearts.

The Aradhana Committee, with the active involvement of senior musicians, has put together a concert around their compositions which bring out the emotional and musical genius of these great composers.

  1. Varnam — Kadanakuthuhalam, Adi, Mysore Vasudevachar
  2. Sri Mahaganapathim Bhajeham — Atana, Adi, Mysore Jayachamaraja Wodeyar
  3. Sri Jalandhara — Gambheera Nattai, Adi, Mysore Jayachamaraja Wodeyar
  4. Mama Hridaye — Reethigowlai, Kanda Thriputa, Mysore Vasudevachar
  5. Saketha Nagara — Harikambodhi, Roopakam, Mysore Sadasiva Rao
  6. Ksheerasagara Sayana — Mayamalavagowlai, Dhruva, Mysore Jayachamaraja Wodeyar
  7. Bhogadheera — Sankarabharanam, Mishra Chapu, Purandara Dasa (Thani Avarthanam)
  8. Bhajare Re Manasa — Abheri, Adi, Mysore Vasudevachar
  9. Ugabhoga
  10. Krishna Nee Begane — Yamunakalyani, Mishra Chapu, Vyasarayar
  11. Jagadodharana — Pilu, Adi, Purandara Dasa
  12. Ninyako Ninna — Chenchurutti, Punnagavarali, Nadanamakriya, Sindhubhairavi; Adi; Purandara Dasa
  13. Venkatachala Nilaya — Sindhubhairavi, Adi, Purandara Dasa
  14. Siva Siva — Nadanamakriya, Mishra Jampai, Mysore Jayachamaraja Wodeyar
  15. Ragathantheerya — Punnagavarali, Adi, Purandara Dasa
  16. Thillana
  17. Mangalam — Purandara Dasa

Training will be spearheaded by senior vidwans and vidushis.

The Process

Please note that these two concerts will lay a lot of emphasis 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, 2010. 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 6, 2010. 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 practice. This commitment has to begin in early November and has to continue up till the festival. The final rehearsal will be in Cleveland on Thursday April 21, 2011.

If you would like to be considered for participation in 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, 2011)
  • 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 'Gems from Karnataka' 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 a 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, online availability of the teaching material, 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:

  • The Music of Dance — US $1,500 per person
  • Gems from Karnataka — US $1,500 per person

The fees are payable on or before November 7, 2010.

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 2011 concerts will also prove to be memorable.

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

V V Sundaram