/* START Google Analytics Code*/ /* END of Google Analytics Code */ A home called "Parvathi": Report on Sri K. Puttu Rao Memorial Festival – 2012

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Report on Sri K. Puttu Rao Memorial Festival – 2012

The second annual K. Puttu Rao Memorial music festival was held in Mysore at Jagan Mohan Palace auditorium from 31 Aug. 2012 through 4 Sept. 2012.

The festival got off to a flying start with a violin duet recital by Mysore M. Nagaraj and Mysore M. Manjunath. Before the concert, K. Srikantiah welcomed the gathering to the 5-day festival he was conducting in memory of his late father Sri K. Puttu Rao.

[ Speech in TRACK PLAYER; English Translation in APPENDIX I ]

Mysore Dr.Manjunath also spoke briefly about his and his elder brother Nagaraj’s close association with Mr Srikantiah and about the music at "Parvathi" from their childhood days.

[ Speech in TRACK PLAYER; English Translation in APPENDIX II ]

On the second day, Abhishek Raghuram performed and enthralled the audience with his vocal music. He recollected how he, as a child, had listened to a rendition of “Krishna Nee Begane Baaro” by Lalgudi Jayaraman (his maternal grand-uncle) that had been performed in a Parvathi concert to the mridangam accompaniment by his grand-father Palghat Raghu. Abhishek sang that particular song in Lalgudi Jayaraman style, to the immense enjoyment of the rasikas.

Neyveli Santhanagopalan gave a classic vocal recital on the third day, full of Bhakti and Soukhya, to the delight of critics and common man. Next day, M S. Sheela gave a traditional performance with items which were a combination of the popular and not-so-common kritis in her ever-youthful, melodious style.

The grand finale of the festival was a lively Kathakalakshepam by Vishakha Hari. She chose a portion of Sundarakanda of Ramayana as her subject. The discourse was in Tamil and English. Having undergone extensive musical training over the years under the maestro Lalgudi Jayaraman himself, Vishakha gave a splendid display of her prowess in Carnatic music, , and her fluency and command over English as well as Tamil during the discourse. This was her first Harikatha performance in Mysore city, and the audience were left in awe, asking for more.

The main artistes were ably supported by well-known accompanists in all the concerts, who had a big role in the success of the concerts. Music critics who have reviewed the concerts in various newspapers [ see review1 and review 2 ] have hailed the success of the performances.


Mysore M. Nagaraj and Mysore M. Manjunath - Violin Duet
Neyveli Venkatesh - Mridangam
Ramanujam - Ghatam
T. Dileep - Khanjira


00.K Srikantiah-welcome *** 01 Speech -Mysore Manjunath*** 02 Viriboni Varnam – Bhairavi – Pachimiriyam Adiappaiah*** 03 MakelaraVicharamu- Ravichandrika- Thyagaraja *** 04 MarivereDikkevarayya- Shanmukhapriya- Patnam Subramania Iyer*** 05 Manasulo Ni Marmamulu- Hindola – Thyagaraja*** 06 Ragam Tanam Pallavi – Kamboji (+Nilambari, Kanada, Hindustani Todi?)*** Tani Avartanam *** 07 Antakana Dhootarige- Bageshree – Purandara Dasa *** 08 Teerada Vilayattu- Ragamalike – Subrahmanya Bharathi *** 09 Nanati Brutuku- Revathi- Annamacharya *** 10 Bhagyada Lakshmi- Madhyamavathi- Purandara dasa ***



" A hearty welcome to this music festival taking place in memory of my late father K. Puttu Rao.

There is no need for me to introduce the artistes on the stage to you: Vid. Nagaraj and Vid. Manjunath. I have known their father Vid. Mahadevappa from the time he came over from Tamil Nadu to learn music from Vid. Chowdiah’s brother, Vid. Puttasamiah.

Having known artistes from around the world, young and old, I can emphatically state that if any artiste were to be called lucky, that would be Vid. Mahadevappa. Without exaggeration, I can say that Vid. Mahadevappa deserves all the fame for having brought up these two talented youngsters with great discipline and strict musical training, so well. Today, whether it is Tamilnadu, or Maharashtra or anywhere else, these brothers are in great demand. In fact they have so many lead duo violin concerts that they have no time at all for providing violin accompaniment to others. Many times they have travelled overseas and performed extensively. Starting on 5 Sept., they will be touring America and Canada for two months.

Tracing the roots of their success, I can repeat that it is entirely due to their upbringing and discipline imparted by their father. They perhaps never went to movies or stage-plays, or indulged in idle gossip with other musicians. After the departure of Vid. Chowdiah, I was wondering if at all there would be another famous musician from Mysore. I am happy these brothers have come on the scene to carry on the name of Mysore.

The key to violin play is dexterity in fingering and bowing techniques. Nagaraj and Manjunath have this in ample measure. That apart, they have a big repertoire of kritis. Great composers like Thyagaraja have no doubt composed songs with many sangatis, but embellishing them with special ‘sanchara’s, adding swaraprastara without too much or too little, are their forte. In addition, they have great humility and refrain from talking ill of other artistes.

When we held concerts in the home of Parvathi, and Vid. Mahadevappa used to bring along these boys. I had to gently decline admission to the children below 10 and beg excuse as we had a strict rule. These children would then park themselves on the lawns and listen to the concerts. Once Vid. Mahadevappa requested me to hear a young Nagaraj, saying that he was playing the violin quite well. I remember distinctly that this same Nagaraj came home, and played Mohana so well and followed it up with Vasudevachar’s “Ra Ra Rajeevalochana”. I wonder if Nagaraj himself remembers this episode! So also with Manjunath. Each vies with the other in excellence. They have come up with so much talent, I cannot praise them sufficiently.

My best wishes to them for their forthcoming US trip. Let us all pray for their continued success.

A couple of incidents are relevant here. When I had billed Vid. Yesudas for the first time in Mysore in 1972, he had a car breakdown near Mandya and could not reach Mysore in time to perform on the day. A huge audience who had gathered, were disappointed and I did not hide my anger when he called up early next morning. This episode, providentially, paved the way for our deep-rooted friendship lasting so many decades till date! Vid. Yesudas apologized profusely and requested that the festival be extended by a day so that he could come and sing. I agreed. But then I found that I could not get a violinist for accompaniment. I remember: quite near here, around Maharaja’s High School, I was proceeding in my car and chanced to meet Vid. Mahadevappa. I told him of my difficulty in finding a suitable violinist. Vid. Mahadevappa said that if I had no objection, Nagaraj would fill in. At that time, Nagaraj was a mere stripling! You can see his photo from that concert in the website “A Home Called Parvathi”.

Yesudas was understandably apprehensive that a young boy would be playing the violin. But I assured him that I had full confidence in the youngster’s ability. That day, AIR had arranged a live broadcast by drawing a telephone line from our home. The next day, so many who had heard the broadcast called me, and expressed great appreciation about the violin accompaniment and surprise about Nagaraj’s talent at such a young age. That started off his career and today with his brother, he is doing very well. Vid. Mahadevappa is 3 years younger than me, I wish him long life to witness and enjoy the success of his children.

Vid. Neyveli Venkatesh will play the Mridangam today.I extend him my welcome. Prof. Ramanujam will play the ghatam. He has always been a strength to us. Of course, he has his own private complaint that I have not billed him any time on the mridangam. But somehow we have got used to his ghatam accompaniment and so it continues.

There is another very surprising fact about those on the stage today. We have always associated the Police Department with the "lathi" (stick) and Law and Order matters. But today, the Vidwan on the Khanjira is Mr. T. Dileep, Superintendent of Police, Mysore, whose hobby is music. He has learnt from Vid. TAS Mani- a veteran who has played 20-30 times in our Ramanavami festivals. We earlier had another SP, Mr. Ramanujam, who had great interest in music and had learnt the violin from Vid. Mahadevappa himself. But he had not performed in public. So in my 70+ years in the field of music, this is the first time that I am seeing a senior Police official come on the stage to perform for us. I wish that Mr. Dileep should continue to perform and graduate to the Mridangam. On the Tambura we have Ms. Pushpa Iyengar.

I welcome all the artistes and all of you once again."



" On behalf of all of us, I would like to share with you the immense respect that we have for Sri K. Srikantiah . As he himself told you all, I can still remember his words “Do not allow him in, yet! he is not yet 10 years old, “ and with that he kept me outside. I had to sit myself down outside the ‘pandal’ (canopied area).

After that day’s concert he asked our father: “Mr. Mahadevappa, does your second son also play the Violin?”

“He does up to a certain extent,… he is learning … he is doing pretty good…”

Since I was not allowed inside, I kept busy playing outside by myself. After the concert, after my elder brother’s performance, I was called inside and asked to demonstrate my playing. I have never forgotten that day’s picture. How much love he (K. Srikantiah) has had for all of us?…how much affection? …for this development and upholding of music, he grew it all the way from its foundations to a huge tree so that it may hang over us in protection…that Sri Srikantiah was such a grand organizer can never be doubted!...

Over all these years, amidst so many of the Vidwans, be it Maharajapuram Santhanam, be it Semmangudi, be it UK Sivaraman, or T.K. Murthy, whomever we have talked to, have always without fail inquired about this great and one only organizer from Mysore, Sri K. Srikantiah…”Srikantiah yapdih irkara?” is always the first question. In terms of Jesudas, let us not even mention him …Jesudas has always been addressed as “Dasa”, in the most affectionate of terms, by only Sri Srikantiah …there was that much of regard…

…when we were so young and about to start our fledgling ‘Katcheries’ (concerts)…we were always concerned about where we might slip up, what Mr. Srikantiah may say or about what he may get angry with us…it was always with a trepidation that we would start our performances….I still remember this.

…this great man who has bred such a giant musical heritage in Mysore…and how much he has been responsible for spreading the music all around…are things known to all of you …

…that he has this affection for us, for all of us, is our good fortune….that his blessings and all of your blessings be always upon us…. This is what I ask from you all, always....

Namaskara! "