Monthly Archives: September 2016

Back to glorious days of the veena

Veena music festival draws music connoisseurs in city

The veena, said to be the ‘Queen of instruments’ in Carnatic music, was once indispensable to classical vocalists as a melodic accompaniment.

This changed with the arrival of the western violin, which began to replace the veena on concert stages. However, a group of veena aficionados decided to form a collective to bring the ancient instrument back into the mainstream.

Thus, the Veena Sangeetha Sangh was born on September 27, 2004, the 90th birth anniversary of the renowned veena exponent K. S. Narayana Swamy. The members of the group, such as P. S. Sunil, a well-known manufacturer of musical instruments and T. N. Sreekumaran Thampi, a teacher at the Department of Music, Kerala University, aim to carry on Narayana Swamy’s legacy through restoring the old glory of the veena and by encouraging classical music among youngsters.

To achieve this, the group has been regularly organising veena music festivals at colleges, including the Chembai Memorial Government Music College, Palakkad, S. N. College, Kollam and N.S.S. College, Thiruvananthapuram. They have also held programmes in Mumbai and Delhi.

Apart from stage programmes, the group also holds informal gatherings of classical music connoisseurs on a regular basis.

Performances by youngsters are particularly encouraged, though the group refrains from holding competitions, as they believe it goes against the spirit of music.

Ongoing Festival 

The latest in the line of such events is the K. S. Narayana Swamy Memorial Veena Music Festival being held in the capital city, in association with the the Department of Music, University of Kerala, and the Sri Swathi Thirunal College of Music, Thiruvananthapuram.

The festival, which began on Monday, is a celebration of the 102nd birth anniversary of Narayana Swamy, as well as of the 12th anniversary of the Veena Sangeetha Sangh.

Dr. K. Omanakkutty, a disciple of Narayana Swamy and the first Head of the Department of Music, Kerala University, inaugurated the festival at the Maharani Sethu Parvathi Bayi Auditorium, Vazhuthacaud. The ceremony was followed by a lecture-demonstration of the veena by artist Bhagyalekshmi Chandrasekhar, and Mridangam and Ghatom recitals by Dr. Aneesh Krishna and R. Rajesh respectively. The festival will conclude on Tuesday with the presentation of the ‘Veena Sangeetha Retna Puraskar’, to be held at the Muthayya Bhagavathar Auditorium, Vazhuthacaud.

Performances by youngsters are particularly encouraged by the group

source: / The Hindu / Home> National> Kerala / by Sreelakshmi Sivaraman / September 27th, 2016