Sustaining Sampradaya 2012 — 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, 2010, and 2011 concerts by the Sustaining Sampradaya group were received to critical acclaim.

The 35th year Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival is scheduled to start on Thursday April 5, 2012 and will be dedicated to the memory of three of the greatest exponents of Indian Classical Arts namely Madurai Sri Mani Iyer, Palghat Sri T.S. Mani Iyer, and Smt. T. Brinda — 2012 being their centenary year. Each one of them adhered strictly to the classicism of Carnatic music and yet shaped and defined the music in their own inimitable way and left an indelible mark.

With these themes in mind, the Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival offers you the following opportunities.

Sustaining Sampradaya — Homage to Madurai Mani Iyer

Inaugural Concert
Saturday April 7, 2012; 4:00pm–6:30pm

Madurai Mani Iyer was truly a star in his time and his music touched people of all walks. His absolute adherence to sruthi, rock-steady rhythm, clear delineation of ragas, choice of rare and popular krithis, short and breathtakingly enchanting sarva laghu swarams, and his impeccable concert presentation all led to a magnificent treat to his rasikas. The Aradhana Committee, in consultation with senior vidwans and vidushis, has put together a very special concert invoking memories of his immortal music.

  1. Viribhoni (Varnam) — Bhairavi, Ata, Pachchimiriam Adiyappayyar
  2. Vathapi Ganapathim — Hamsadhwani, Adi, Dikshitar
  3. Brihaspathe — Athana, Thisra Thriputa, Dikshitar
  4. Nijamarmamulanu — Umabharanam, Adi, Thyagaraja
  5. Meenakshi me mudam — Poorvikalyani, Adi, Dikshitar
  6. Sarasa sama dana — Kapinarayani, Adi, Thyagaraja
  7. Sri Mathrubhootham — Kannada, Mishra chapu, Dikshitar
  8. Sarasamukhi — Gowdamalhaar, Roopakam, Harikesanallur Mutthiah Bhagavatar
  9. Kaana Kann Kodi — Kambodhi, Adi, Papanasam Sivan
  10. Venkatachalapathe — Karnataka Kapi, Adi, Dikshitar
  11. Thaaye Yashoda — Thodi, Adi, Oothukadu Venkatasubbaiyer
  12. Vellai thaamarai — Bheemplas, Adi, Subrahmanya Bharathi
  13. Eppo varuvaro — Jonpuri, Adi, Gopalakrishna Bharathi
  14. Karpagame — Madhyamavathi, Adi, Papanasam Sivan
  15. English Note
  16. Mangalam

Sustaining Sampradaya — The Glory of Tamil Composers

Monday April 9, 2012; 6:45pm–9:15pm

Musical traditions in Tamil speaking areas have an unbroken tradition dating back to the 2nd century BCE. Paripaadal, an ancient Sangam poetic work has clear references to classical music and Chilappathikaram of the 2nd century CE describes in detail various music and dance forms. The 8th century Alwars of Vaishnavite traditions and Nayanmars of Saivite traditions continued the trend which culminated in the works of Oothukadu Venkata Kavi, the Tamil Moovars and composers of modern times. The Aradhana Committee would like to highlight the musical genius of these Tamil composers.

These are compositions of Tamil Moovar — Marimutha Pillai, Muthu Thandavar, and Arunachala Kavi; the Tamil Thyagaraja Papanasam Sivan; Gopalakrishna Bharathi; Tiruvarur Ramaswamy Pillai; the freedom fighter Subrahmanya Bharathi; and compositions from Andal's Nachchiyar Thirumozhi and Ilango Adigalar's Chilappathikaram. The second half of this concert memorializes Smt. T. Brinda through Tamil Padams for which she set a new standard.

  1. Anname (Varnam) — Arabhi, Adi, Tiger Varadachariar
  2. Sivakama Sundari — Jaganmohini, Roopakam, Gopalakrishna Bharathi
  3. Adiya Padha — Darbar, Roopakam, Gopalakrishna Bharathi
  4. Ekkaalatthilum — Poorvikalyani, Adi, Tiruvarur Ramaswamy Pillai
  5. Ramanukku Mannan Mudi — Hindolam, Adi, Arunachala Kavi
  6. Sri Kamakshi Katakshi — Vasantha, Adi, Subbaraya Sastri
  7. Chenthil Andavan — Kharaharapriya, Roopakam, Papanasam Sivan
  8. Sevikka Vendum Ayya — Andolika, Adi, Muthu Thandavar
  9. Karthikeya — Thodi, Adi, Papanasam Sivan
  10. Yarukkaagilum bhayama — Begada, Mishra chapu, Subbarama Iyer
  11. Paar engilum parimala — Kalyani, Adi, Ganam Krishna Iyer
  12. Unnai Thoodhu — Saveri, Adi, Ganam Krishna Iyer
  13. Thiruvotriyur Thyagarajan — Athana, Roopakam, Ganam Krishna Iyer
  14. Karpooram naarumo — Khamas, Kanda chapu, Nachiyar Thirumozhi
  15. Vadavarayai Matthaaki — Ragamalika, Adi, Ilango Adigalar's Chilappathikaram
  16. Thiruppugazh
  17. Vaazhiya Chenthamizh

Training for both programs 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 16, 2011. 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 5, 2011. There will be a minimum of 2 classes per week. We will be using Highspeed Conferencing or other Internet-based tools for imparting training.

Additionally, individual coaching will be given one a week by a musician from India, covering the weekend classes. This coaching will be during weekdays at a mutually convenient time. This allows the vidwan/vidushi to personally assess the progress made and the potential.

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 5, 2012.

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, 2012)
  • Which program(s) you are interested in
  • How you perform (vocal, veena, flute, mridangam, etc.)
  • 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 'Glory of Tamil Composers' 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 vidushis, 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:

  • Homage to Madurai Mani Iyer — US $1,500 per person
  • Glory of Tamil Composers — US $1,500 per person

The fees are payable on or before November 4, 2011.

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 2012 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