Sri Chandrasekharendra Sangeeta Educational Society is organising the 8th Annual Festival & Aradhana of Satguru Sri Thyagaraja Swamy at the Keyes High School For Girls, from 6th to 10th February. The 5-day festival will see some of the best artistes of Carnatic music perform, including the Sikkil Sisters, Mala Chandrasekhar, the Priya Sisters, the Malladi Brothers, U Srinivas, Dr. Tadepally Lokanadha Sarma, and many young and upcoming artistes.
Today, the inaugural day, the Sikkil Sisters and Mala Chandrasekhar will play some classical numbers on the flute. They will be accompanied by M A Sundaresan on the violin, Patri Satish Kumar on the mridangam and Nemani Somayajulu on the ghatam.
The Sikkil sisters - Neela and Kunjumani - are India's only female duo who have excelled in an instrument difficult to master. The sisters have their own distinct style of playing the flute, yet they successfully harness it to their advantage, to bring out an enjoyable ensemble. In Carnatic music circles, the sisters are known to be absolutely faithful to paddhati (tradition) in rendering kirtanas so that it is possible to make out each word of a song being played.
The sisters have been honored with many awards; prominent among them are Venu Gana Praveena by the Mysore Samasthanam, Kalaimamani by Tamil Nadu Iyal, Special Honors by the Music Academy, the President's Award by the Sangeetha Nataka Academy, Sangeetha Kala Sikhamani by The Indian Fine Arts Society Chennai, and a special honor by Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha, Chennai.
Mala Chandrasekhar started learning from her aunt and mother, the Sikkil Sisters Kunjumani & Neela. In style, Mala combines the strongest aspects of aunt Kunjumani's clear classic lines with mother Neela's flair and expressiveness.
Mala imbibed through her mother the flute artistry of their paternal uncle Azhiyur Narayanaswamy Iyer, and the rigorous rhythmic training given by their mridungam playing father Azhiyur Natesa Iyer. Other major influences on Mala's playing are the expertise and repertoire of noted vocalist and teacher Radha Viswanathan, and of Radha's mother and guru M S Subbulakshmi whose family Mala joined by marriage.
Sri Chandrasekharendra Sangeeta Educational Society was founded in 2000, with the objective of imparting and spreading Carnatic vocal music to music lovers of all ages. It was established by S Chandrasekhar, a renowned vocalist, who has a diploma in Carnatic vocal and teaches about 50 students, both young and old. Every Sunday, he also teaches Annamacharya Keertanas from 3pm to 5pm, free of cost to anyone eager to learn. The society also organises various music concerts of local upcoming and established artistes, and renowned classical musicians from Chennai.
The entry to the programs is free. Please contact the S Chandrasekhar at 2780-5161/93910-11704/98661-87955 for further details.