THYAGARAJA ARADHANA FESTIVAL 2020

40th YEAR CELEBRATIONS

Thyagaraja Aradhana today is a global phenomenon wherever you have a settlement of the South Indian community. It has been long since it crossed the Indian shores and is spreading far and wide across the globe. However, there was a time when it was restricted only to certain regions of Tamil Nadu, primarily conducted by the direct shishya parampara of Thyagarajasvami. From then on, the Aradhana has grown leaps and bounds due to the untiring efforts and devotion of many personalities like Bangalore Nagarathnammal, Peria and Chinna Katchis, Musiri Subramania Iyer, the Bhishmacharya of Carnatic music – Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer and many others. Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer was also one of the major forces that helped Carnatic music spread in Kerala especially during his tenure as the Principal of the Swati Thirunal College of Music. He was also the guiding spirit of our Saint Thyagaraja Aradhana Trust and has performed in this venue for 12 continuous years. He also helped in creating an atmosphere like the one held in Tiuruvaiyaru with a similar pattern and following the same tradition. This year marks the 40th year or “Aruna Mahotsava” of our Aradhana celebrations. At this juncture, as we look back, we respectfully remember the great contributions of Dr. A. Ramanathan, M. D. Rajamani, Dr. C. R. Parasuram, mridangam vidwan Pudukode Krishna Iyer, R. V. Venkateswaran, Adv. S. K. Subramaniam, Smt. C. R. Varalakshmi and others who are no more with us today in flesh & blood but are definitely present in spirit. One other key personality who left us recently and who was actively involved in the formation as well as the activities of our Trust right from its inception was our dear Vidwan Sri. G. S. Sreekrishnan, the great flautist who mesmerized audiences all over the country with his „Venu nada‟.
This year, as we celebrate the 253rd Jayanti and 173rd Aradhana of Saint Thyagaraja, it is important that we contemplate on the music of this great Nadopasaka.
Today, we speak of revolution and reformation in the Carnatic music world. But Thyagarajasvami along with his contemporaries was the biggest revolutionary and reformist of all times. We still are incapable to even understand his revolution and the reformations he made. He never made any great noise about it and that‟s why we probably don‟t see it that way.
Take for example, the number of small, elegant ragas introduced by him. Be it hamsanadam, jayantashri, garudadhvani, supradeepam, etc. There are more than 80 such ragas called „vinta‟ ragas i.e. ragas for which we don‟t find much evidence before Thyagarajasvami. In these kritis, we find the delineation of the raga perfectly done which if rendered in svaras or akāram would give the clear raga murchanas or phrases for the raga. Many of these ragas are also being used by modern day musicians in their creations be it film music or fusion music. That proves the universality of these ragas.

The number of kritis he composed on a particular raga indicates the expanse that the raga provides for creativity and innovation. That‟s why we find so many kritis in main ragas like Karaharapriya, Harikambodhi, Kalyani, Todi etc. His handling of ten kritis in the same raga would be different. In the same Todi, a Emije Seete starts in the lilting Dhaivata, Arakimpave in lower Shadja, Koluvamaragada in upper Shadja and so on. Thus learning these kritis in a raga would give a music student enough scope to now elaborate the raga in the manodharma. Thanks to his kritis, that we have the raga svarupa for many ragas handed down to us crystallized in the form of kritis.
Over the past 39 years, our Thyagaraja Aradhana trust provides a platform for music students and all devotees to pay homage to this great Saint Thyagaraja by giving them a chance to render a Thyagaraja Kriti and about 500 devotees take part in this five days festival. Needless to mention, we arrange 20-25 concerts by young and upcoming artists along with some senior and well known musicians during the five days celebrations.
We cordially invite you all to enjoy the feast of Carnatic music from 12.02.2020 to 16.02.2020.
We take this opportunity to request all music promoters, music lovers and members of the public to donate liberally and also help us in all ways to make this 173rd Thyagaraja Aradhana Festival a tremendous success.

ALL ARE WELCOME!

S. G. S. RATHNAM
Managing Trustee

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