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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Season Bytes - Kruthi Bhat

By Lavanya Narayanan

                                                                                                                                            7th December 2016

Season Bytes
The HCL concert series, hosted by the Music Academy, has supported young musicians for over 30 years. While the series used to mark the entry of a performer onto the serious Carnatic music stage, the multitude of sabhas and opportunities that exist now have changed the game—now, HCL is another feather in a young artist’s cap—though possibly, a life-changing one. We attend HCL concerts with high hopes and we approached Kruthi Bhat’s HCL kutcheri with equal, if not more, enthusiasm. Tackling kambhoji on stage for the first time with Tyagaraja’s O Ranga Sayee, as Kruthi herself mentioned, and showing vocal prowess to fit her impressive lineage, she was matched phrase-for-phrase by young violinist Sruti Sarathy, also from the US. What was more encouraging still was to see the audience filled with senior artists—Kruthi’s uncle, Vittal Ramamurthy, as well as Abhishek Raghuram and Vijay Siva, among others. We look forward to seeing Kruthi, a young artist who is as humble as she is talented, back in Chennai for the season. 

Season Bytes - Concert Etiquette

By Lavanya Narayanan

                                                                                                                                                 7th December2016

Season Bytes

As the season starts off, I can’t but notice the changing parameters of concert etiquette that are brought seemingly to the forefront, especially in larger venues that accommodate throngs of people. While many occasions have presented rather unusual circumstances, a recent instance at the first concert of vocal sister-duo, Ranjani-Gayatri, astonished me quite a bit. After the artists concluded their virutham, an older gentleman suddenly shot up from his seat in the front row. “Ma’am, what slokam is this from?!” Sitting on stage, I was rather shocked by the sudden disruption. This happened again as the duo prepared to conclude the concert, with another gentleman exclaiming, “Sing an abhang!” While I understand the crowd’s enthusiasm, the ambience of a concert and the trance that it can put you in is promise enough, I would hope, for the audience to allow the artist creative freedom and independence, holding their commentary and critique until the end. 


 An exciting opportunity for emerging Carnatic vocalists below 25 

TAG Corporation and Karnatic Music Forum, both involved in promoting Carnatic music, and Sruti, India’s premier performing arts monthly, join hands once again to conduct the third edition of the annual Talent Hunt to spot five top voices in the field of Carnatic music.

The TALENT HUNT will be held from 9th to 14th January 2017 at TAG Centre, Alwarpet, Chennai.

Applications are invited from young, aspiring vocalists looking for opportunities in the Carnatic music performance space. The applications must be accompanied by the applicant’s biodata and audio CD to the address given below:

Mrs. Usha Bharadwaj, Coordinator, D1/9, Anand Apartments, 50, LB Road, Tiruvanmiyur, Chennai – 41 or by mail at

Out of the applicants, 18 will be selected to perform for an hour each during the January 2017 event. The top five voices of 2017 to be selected by a panel of experts, will each receive prize money of Rs.5000 and a citation.

  • The artists must be below the age of 25 as on 1st January 2017. 
  • The CD must contain one classical kriti with raga alapana, niraval and Kalpana swaras for a maximum duration of 25 minutes, and a light classical song. The total duration of the CD should not exceed 30 minutes. 
  • December 14, 2016 will be the last date for receipt of applications.
  • During the hour-long performance, the selected applicant is expected to present a mini concert that will include raga alapana, niraval and kalpana swaras.
  • Proper vocalisation will be an all-important criterion in selecting the top five. Open-mouthed, akaram-oriented singing will be a must.


Violin and percussion accompaniment, to be provided by the organizers.

The organizers’ decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entertained.