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2017: Sangita Kalanidhi award
Chitraveena maestro N. Ravikiran has been selected for 2017 Sangita Kalanidhi award. Being a child prodigy, he won the scholarship of the Music Academy in 1969.
“Ravikiran has fully lived up to his promise as a child prodigy and has risen to great heights of musicianship over an illustrious career,” said N. Murali, President of the Academy, while explaining the unanimous decision of the executive committee to select him for the coveted award.
He will preside over the 91st annual conference to be held between December 15, 2017 and January 1, 2018. The award will be conferred on him on January 1, on the day of sadas.
“I thank the Music Academy. I am humbled by the award as I have always maintained the attitude of a student. It’s Gods grace and blessing of my gurus including my father N. Narasimhan and T. Brinda, I have been selected for the award. The award is a reminder that I should contribute more to music,” Mr. Ravikiran, who is in Bengaluru to perform a concert, told The Hindu.
Mr. Ravikiran first hogged the limelight when he appeared on the dais of the Music Academy as a two-year-old kid, responded to the questions on great maestros and identified ragas.
“I am not able to remember what happened on that day. It was G. Narasimhan of The Hindu who persuaded my family to shift the base from Mysuru to Chennai,” said Mr. Ravikiran, who was also instrumental in the Music Academy adopting to restore to Gottuvadhyam its original name Chitraveena in 1990.
Thiruvidaimarudhur Saharamarao, a name synonymous with the instrument and originally from Maharashtra, used the name Gottuvadhyam as he used a piece of the horn of a bison to play the instrument. He also used ebony wood.
“Only after listening to Saharamarao playing the instrument, my grandfather Narayana Iyengar decided to become his disciple. He also learnt from Kodaganallur Subbaiah Bhgavathar,” said Mr. Ravikiran, who has contributed to the evolution of the instrument in modern days. Narayana Iyengar had written an article titled, “Why the name gottuvadhym”, tracing the history of the instrument.
Mr. Ravikiran said he was using a teflon pipe to play the instrument. Besides learning from his father, Mr. Ravikiran also came under the tutelage of T. Brinada between 1986 and 1996.
Mr. Ravikiran is also responsible for popularising many keerthanas of Oothukadu Venkatasubbaiyar. “His family members kept his compositions. With the help of musicians like Needamangalam Krishnamurthy Bhagavathar, I am able to get them for the music world,” said Mr. Ravikiran who has also composed nearly 800 compositions.
The Academy’s Sangita Kala Acharya awards will be given to mridangist V. Kamalakar Rao and vocalist Radha Namboodhiri.
Ghatam exponent Sukanya Ramgopal and Othuvar Muthu Kandasamy Desikar will get the TTK awards. Musicologist award will go to T.S. Sathyavathi and the Papa Venkatramiah award for violin will be given to Thirvallur Parthasarathy.
Noted dancer Lakshmi Viswanathan will be conferred the Nritya Kalanidhi award for dance on the day of inauguration of dance festival on January 3.