Sustaining Sampradaya 2024 — Announcement

The 44th year Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival is scheduled to start on Wednesday April 10, 2024. 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 one of the greatest creative musicians of our time, and long-time Festival favorite, K.V. Narayanaswamy whose centenary year is 2023. The second program will be dedicated to the memory of a musician with a singularly unique voice both as a singer and as a composer, M.D. Ramanathan, whose centenary is also 2023.

Sustaining Sampradaya — Tribute to K.V. Narayanaswamy

Saturday April 13, 2024; 4:00pm–6:30pm

  1. Sarasuda ninne (Varnam) — Saveri, Adi, Kottavasal Venkatarama Iyer
  2. Kripa juchutaku — Chayatharangini, Adi, Thyagaraja
  3. Ananda Natam Aduvar Thillai — Poorvikalyani, Rupakam, Neelakanta Sivan
  4. Sathatham thaavaka — Kharaharapriya, Adi, Swathi Thirunal
  5. Sri Chamundeshwari — Bilahari, Adi, Mysore Vasudevachar
  6. Pankajaakshanaam Rameshan (Uthsava Prabhandam) — Thodi, Rupakam, Swathi Thirunal
  7. Ini oru kanam — Sriranjani, Rupakam, Papanasam Sivan
  8. Maragathavalleem — Kambodhi, Adi, Muthuswamy Dikshithar
  9. Annapoorne vishalakshi — Sama, Adi, Muthuswamy Dikshithar
  10. Govindanadi Mukundanadi Enakku Avar Sonthamadi (Pallavi) — Bhairavi
  11. Sagara sahyana vibho — Bhageshri, Adi, M.D. Ramanathan
  12. Ini enna pechu (Padam) — Sahana, Rupakam, Subbarama Iyer
  13. Idi neeku mariyaadaga (Javali) — Begada, Mishra chapu, Dharmapuri Subbarayar
  14. Ninnu juchi (Padam) — Punnagavarali, Thisra thriputa, Kshetrayya
  15. Vanga kadal (Thiruppavai) — Churutti, Misra Chapu, Andal
  16. Thillana — Poorvi, Rupakam, Thirukokarnam Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar
  17. Bhujaga Shaayino (Mangalam) — Yadukulakambodhi, Kanda thriputa, Swathi Thirunal

Sustaining Sampradaya — Tribute to M.D. Ramanathan

Monday April 15, 2024; 4:00pm–6:30pm

  1. Karunai kadale (Varnam) — Kalyani, Adi, Tiger Varadachari
  2. Samayamide — Kedaram, Rupakam, Patnam Subramania Iyer
  3. Munduvenuga — Darbar, Adi, Thyagaraja
  4. Neelakantam Bhajeham — Kedaragowlai, Rupakam, Muthuswamy Dikshithar
  5. Enthanerchina — Suddha Dhanyasi, Adi, Thyagaraja
  6. Brindavanalola — Thodi, Rupakam, Thyagaraja
  7. Ksheerasagara Shayana — Devagandhari, Adi, Thyagaraja
  8. Giripai — Sahana, Adi, Thyagaraja
  9. Koniyade — Kokiladhwani, Adi, Thyagaraja
  10. Pallavi — Kalyani
  11. Hariyum Haranum — Atana, Adi, M.D. Ramanathan
  12. Kanaka Sabhai — Churutti, Jhampa, Gopalakrishna Bharathi
  13. Padari varuguthu — Kambodhi, Rupakam, Subbarama Iyer
  14. Nyaayamu gaadura — Reetigowla, Mishra Chapu, Pattabhiramayya
  15. Telisenura — Saveri, Rupakam, Chinnaia Pillai
  16. Thillana — Kapi, Adi, M.D. Ramanathan

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 September 15, 2023. The above panel will select the performers out of the pool of applicants, and these will be notified by October 1.

Early Admission: If you apply before September 1, we will fast track your application process (including the interview process if you are a first timer) and let you know the decision by September 15. This gives you a better chance of being part of the Sustaining Sampradaya program.

Training by India-based vidwans will begin on November 4, 2023. 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 begin in Cleveland from Thursday April 11, 2024 onward.

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 KVN" or "SS MDR" on the face of the check at an appropriate place.

You can also pay electronically via Zelle from your bank account. Send the payment to, and send an email to that same address to confirm the payment.

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 K.V. Narayanaswamy — US $1,900 per person
  • Tribute to M.D. Ramanathan — US $1,900 per person

The fees are payable on or before October 7, 2023.

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 2024 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