If he did not choose music, he would probably have been in Team India. Some people say he is in Team India anyway, even if not in cricket.
The South India Cultural Association (SICA), one of the oldest cultural associations of the twin cities, is organising its 47th Annual Festival Of Music And Dance from 17th to 24th February, at Ravindra Bharathi. The week-long festival will witness some of the best Carnatic musicians and classical dancers of the country, like Sanjay Subrahmanyam, U P Raju and Nagamani, Sudha Ragunathan, T V Sankaranarayanan, P Unnikrishnan, Dr Ananda Shankat Jayant, Gopika Varma, Revathi Ramachandran and Deepika Reddy, sharing the stage. Today, the penultimate day, renowned vocalist P Unnikrishnan will present a Carnatic vocal recital.
Unnikrishnan started learning Carnatic Music at the age of 12 from V L Seshadri, and subsequently underwent the tutelage of Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr S Ramanathan, Savithri Sathyamurthy and Calcutta K S Krishnamurthy. He attended a special workshop for 6 months on Veena Dhanammal Bhani under Sangeetha Kalanidhi T Brinda and Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr T Vishwanathan. He is currently training under Vidwan P S Narayanaswamy.
Unnikrishnan is a cricket enthusiast, too, having played for the Tamil Nadu senior division league as a top order batsman and wicket-keeper, but sacrificed the game to devote himself full-time to music. He is at present a member of the Madras Cricket Club and a Life Member of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association.
With performances all over India and in places abroad such as USA, the Middle East, UK, the Far-East, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, Unnikrishnan received several awards like Isai Peroli by Karthik Fine Arts, Yuva Kala Bharathi by the Bharath Kalachar, Nada Bhushanam by the Shanmukhananda Fine Arts New Delhi and the Kalaimamani by the Govt. of Tamil Nadu.
He also rendered playback for two songs in Kadalan and Pavithra, which fetched him the National Award for the Best Male Playback Singer in 1994. He is an A-grade artist of the All India Radio.
SICA was founded in 1959 by Dewan Bahadur Aramuda Iyengar, the Finance Minister of Hyderabad's Nizam and a great patron of Carnatic music. The association has since organised more than 1,000 concerts. It has provided a basic platform for upcoming artistes like U P Raju and Nagamani, Mandolin Srinivas and the Malladi Brothers. It conducts workshops, felicitates artistes, and provides both moral and financial support to upcoming artistes. Dr S Chakravarthy, IAS, former Chief Secretary to Govt. of AP, is the present president of the association, and R Chakrapani is the General Secretary.
The entry is by season passes for members, and daily tickets of Rs. 100 & Rs. 50 per head per day are available at the venue. For further details, please contact R Chakrapani at 2742-5374, 2383-5222, 2351-6399 or 98491-24675.