The South Indian Cultural Association (SICA) is organising its 48th Annual Festival of Music & Dance from 10th to 16th March, at the Ravindra Bharathi auditorium. The week-long festival will feature several renowned artistes such as violinists Lalgudi G J R Krishnan & Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi, flautist Shashank, dancer Kala Krishna, and vocalists S Sowmya, O S Arun, Maharajapuram Srinivasan and Madurai T N Seshagopalan.
Today, the 2nd day of the festival, Shashank will perform on the Carnatic flute. Shashank, born on October 14, 1978, was barely 9 months old when he was initiated to South-Indian classical music, even before he started speaking his mother tongue. As advised by flute maestro T R Mahalingam, he learnt only vocal music, from veteran musicians including Palghat K V Narayanaswamy.
At 6, Shashank picked up his father's flute and stunned onlookers by playing spontaneously, to signal his entry into the flute world. His maiden flute concert was at Adelaide, Australia, in September 1990, when he was 11, followed by his debut in India on December 20, 1990.
Some landmark concerts of his have been the Rashtrapathi Bhavan; Kennedy Center - Washington DC; J Paul Getty Hall - Hollywood; National Academy of Sciences - Washington DC; Xebec Hall - Kobe, and Across Fukuoka - Fukuoka, Japan; India Music Group at St. Xaviers College - Bombay; UNESCO - Paris; Tropical Institute - Amsterdam; Modigliani Hall-Padova, Italy; Museum Rietberg, Zurich; and Seoul Plaza, Seoul, Korea.
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 the Govt. Of AP, is the current President of the association, and R Chakrapani is the General Secretary.
Entry is by season tickets of Rs. 300 per head for members. For others, it is Rs. 500 per head. Please contact R Chakrapani at 2742-5374 / 98491-24675 or V Ramachandran at 92461-61420 for further details.