The South India Cultural Association (SICA), one of the oldest cultural associations of the twin cities, is organising its 51st Annual Festival Of Music & Dance
, from 9th to 17th March, at the Ravindra Bharathi auditorium.
The 9-day festival will feature several renowned musicians - T M Krishna, P Unnikrishnan, Ravi Kiran, Sankaran Namboodiri, Priya Sisters, M Chandrasekharan and danseuse Anita Guha. Senior violinist M Chandrasekaran will be performing a violin recital on the last day of the festival.
Chandrasekaran is a blind violin maestro who lost his sight before he was even 2, following an attack of jaundice. Since then, his mother Charubala Mohan guided him in every aspect - teaching him to play the violin, to sing, and to learn Braille, in which he can read and write Tamil, English, Sanskrit and Telugu. After about 60 years of mastering the complex instrument, he is considered a living legend of the violin.
Chandrasekaran also learnt vocal music from Mannargudi Sambasiva Bhagavatar, Kumbakonam S Viswanathan, Vidyala Narasimha Naidu and T Jayammal. He started playing the violin as an accompanist when he was only 11, and soon accompanied stalwarts that included G N Balasubramaniam, Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer, Musiri Subramania Iyer, T R Mahalingam (flute), Madurai Mani Iyer, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, Madurai Somasundaram T K Rangachari, Ramnad Krishnan Maharajapuram Santhanam, Dr. S Ramanathan and living legends Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Dr. M Balamuralikrishna, K V Narayaswamy and Nedunuri Krshnamurthy , T N Seshgopalan, T V Sankaranarayanan, Dr. N Ramani and Thiruchur Ramachandran.
Chandrasekaran is a recipient of several honors, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1986), the Mysore Chowdiah National Award (1989), the Astana Vidwan of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam (1993), the Kalaimamani from the Government of Tamil Nadu, the Sangeetha Choodamani, Mathurakala and Praveena. He was a visiting member of the faculty at Palghat Music College.
SICA was founded in the year 1959, by Dewan Bahadur Aramuda Iyengar, patron of Carnatic music and Finance Minister of Hyderabad's Nizam. The association has since organised more than 1,000 concerts. It has provided a basic platform for upcoming artistes amongst whom are 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.
Entry is by donor passes. Season passes cost Rs. 400 / Rs. 300 per head and are valid for for all the 9 days of the festival. Daily passes cost Rs. 100 / Rs. 50 / Rs. 30 per head. Please contact R Chakrapani at 98491-24675 for further details.