Sustaining Sampradaya 2020 — Announcement

The 43rd year Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival is scheduled to start on Wednesday April 8, 2020. We have put together two programs for Sustaining Sampradaya that include some of the greatest compositions of Carnatic music in some of the most enchanting ragas.

The first program is a tribute to an extraordinary musician who went on to a distinguished academic career as a teacher, Musiri Subramania Iyer. The second program will be dedicated to the memory of one of the greatest creative musicians of our time, R.K. Shrikantan, whose centenary is in 2020.

Sustaining Sampradaya — Tribute to Musiri Subramania Iyer

Inaugural Concert
Saturday April 11, 2020; 4:00pm–6:30pm

  1. Enthani ne (Pada varnam) — Khamas, Eka, Subbarama Dikshitar
  2. Entha vedukondu — Saraswathi Manohari, Adi, Thyagaraja
  3. Ramanatham bhajeham — Panthuvarali, Thisra eka, Muthuswamy Dikshitar
  4. Enthani ne — Mukhari, Roopakam, Thyagaraja
  5. Naadaadina maata — Janaranjani, Mishra chapu, Thyagaraja
  6. Samukhaana nilva — Kokilavarali, Adi, Thyagaraja
  7. Naa moraalakimpa — Devagandhari, Roopakam, Thyagaraja
  8. Endhu dhaaginaado — Thodi, Mishra chapu, Thyagaraja
  9. Maravakave O manasa — Sama, Roopakam, Patnam Subramania Iyer
  10. Sri Kumaara nagaraalaye — Athana, Adi, Swathi Thirunal
  11. Murugayyane Valli Devayanai manaalane (Pallavi) — Anandabhairavi
  12. Nagumomu — Abheri, Adi, Thyagaraja
  13. Etthanai chonnaalum — Saveri, Adi, Subbarama Iyer
  14. Paruvam paarkka — Dhanyasi, Roopakam, Anai Ayya
  15. Bamaro (Padam) — Kedaragowlai, Mishra chapu, Kshetragna
  16. Navasiddhi petraalum — Kharaharapriya, Mishra chapu, Neelakanta Sivan
  17. Thillana

Sustaining Sampradaya — Tribute to R.K. Shrikantan

Monday April 13, 2020; 4:00pm–6:30pm

  1. Vanajaakshi (Varnam) — Kalyani, Ata, Pallavi Gopala Iyer
  2. Mahaganapathim vande — Thodi, Roopakam, Muthuswamy Dikshitar
  3. Mundu venuka — Darbar, Adi, Thyagaraja
  4. Ne pogada kunte — Varali, Kanda chapu, Thyagaraja
  5. Rara Phanisayana — Harikambodhi, Roopakam, Thyagaraja
  6. Bhajanaseya raadha — Dharmavathi, Roopakam, Mysore Vasudevachar
  7. Saaketha nikethana — Kannada, Roopakam, Thyagaraja
  8. Anjaneya Raghuraama — Saveri, Adi, Swathi Thirunal
  9. Smarane onde — Malayamarutham, Adi, Purandara Dasa
  10. O Rajeevaaksha — Arabhi, Mishra chapu, Thyagaraja
  11. Maragathamani shyamam Ramam meru dheeram bhajeham (Pallavi) — Bhairavi
  12. Chinthayaami Jagadambaam — Hindolam, Mishra Jhampa, Mysore Jayachamaraja Wodeyar
  13. Marubaari orvalene (Javali) — Chenchurutti, Roopakam, Dharmapuri Subbarayar
  14. Ninnu jooda (Padam) — Punnagavarali, Thisra thriputa, Kshetragna
  15. Madi madi nadi endu — Behag, Adi, Purandara Dasa
  16. Sarasijanaabha sodari — Nagagandhari, Roopakam, Muthuswamy Dikshitar
  17. Thillana — Sankarabharanam, Adi, Veena Seshanna

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.

Smt. Suguna Varadachari will have the overall responsibility for supervising the participants' musical progress in both streams. She will be in the US about 4 weeks before the Festival to monitor each and every one's progress. In this, she will be assisted by a team of other musicians.

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 12, 2019. The above panel will select the performers out of the pool of applicants, and these will be notified by October 26.

Training by India-based vidwans will begin on November 2, 2019. There will be a minimum of 2 classes per week. We will be using video conferencing or other Internet-based tools for imparting training.

Additionally, individual coaching will be given once 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 9, 2020.

How to Apply

If you would like to be considered for participation in one or both of these concerts, there is a two-step process to follow:

Step 1: Application Information

Please email Gopi Sundaram ( the following:

  • Completed application form. Please download the form, and fill out all fields. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.
  • An audition recording in MP3 format, consisting of an introduction and your performance. The introduction (maximum 2 minutes) should give your name, city, state, and what you are trying to highlight in the performance. This should be followed by a performance not exceeding 10 minutes. Both should be in the same file, in MP3 format (maximum 12 minutes).

The audition recording is not necessary if you have participated in an earlier Sustaining Sampradaya program.

Please email both the completed application form and the audition recording (if necessary) to Gopi Sundaram (

Step 2: Application Fee

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:

810 Newcastle Street
Saline, MI 48176-8869

Please write your name and the words "SS Musiri" or "SS RKS" 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:

  • Tribute to Musiri Subramania Iyer — US $1,700 per person
  • Tribute to R.K. Shrikantan — US $1,700 per person

The fees are payable on or before October 27, 2019.

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 2019 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