‘CHIRANTAN’ & DEPARTMENT OF KANNADA & CULTURE IN KARNATAKA jointly conducted a simple yet meaningful felicitation in honor of Padmashri Awardee Pandit Sri M.Venkatesh Kumar last Sunday, 20 March 2016 under the aegis of Pune based NEW AGE FOUNDATION @ Canara Union, Malleswaram, Bangalore. Both 19 & 20 March evenings, venue was jam packed by connoisseurs of music, witnessing concerts by names to reckon, renowned Sarod exponent from New Delhi, Pt.Biswajit Roy Chowdary, Vocalist Pt.Ganapathi Bhat Hasanagi from Sirsi, Karnataka & Vidushi Aditi Upadhye. I felt damn lucky to attend back to back vocal concerts by Pandita Priyadarshini Kulkarni & Padmashri 2016 Awardee, our own Pt.M.Venkatesh Kumar on 20 March though.
Pandita Priyadarshini Kulkarni’s New Age Foundation, Pune jointly organized this memorable musical tribute to Hindustani Music Doyen Padma Vibhushan Late Mallikarjun Mansur in a befitting manner. She regaled the audience first by evening raga Behag followed by sonorous Nayaki Kanada presentation. Aptly accompanied her on Tabla and Harmonium were M/s Gurumurthy Vaidya and Anirban Chakroborthy.
Also stood released to her credit on the occasion by Padmashri M.Venkateshkumar & dignitaries, was a pack of 2 CDs’ comprising of Morning & Evening Raagas rendered by Pandita Priyadarshini Kulkarni.
What followed later was vocal rendition by Pt.Venkatesh Kumar who virtually brings in so much of magnetism by his purity of music filled with devotion, gayaki ang and the tehrav in awe. If there’s a vocalist-musician holding sway on the audience wherever performed, it’s to be none other than him. His music automatically connects to the audience so well. Raag Chayanat, Basant Bahar, Late Mansur’s favorite ‘Akka Kelavva’ and the ever popular number on my request ‘Toredu Jeevisa Bahudhe”, his Vachana gayana enthralled the audience no end. M/s Keshav Joshi on Tabla and Anirban Chakroborthy on Harmonium very appropriately accompanied him. Humility personified & such a towering performer, Pt.Venkatesh Kumar deserves much more than what’s bestowed upon, for making musical inroads all over the globe. To me his Godly Gayaki directly descends from heaven as he weaves a magical web by his difficult taans made look simpler in presentation and the audience too won’t settle for his lesser either..! The magnificence of his singing is simply electrifying.So as his wont, Sri Vijayendra Athanikar lent a meaningful prologue to the invited audience both days. A word of appreciation must go to Pandita Priyadarshini Kulkarni, who not only performs but also carries lot of ethos & understanding for musical roots she inculcated from the Rich Jaipur Atrouli Gharana.Her earnest effort to felicitate the cynosure of all eyes, Pt.Venkatesh Kumar had to be on a high note and those present were neither disappointed by the enthusiastic response. Her accomplices including the Canara Union office bearers will have to be surely patted for hosting such a commendable event.Special thanks must go to other accompanying artistes giving sath to all musicians including my friend table Nawaz Sri Rajendra Nakod.I personally gained two more kind musically oriented persons in well-known & affable Sarod Exponent Pt.Biswajit Roy Chowdary and Sri Rajneesh Atre, an avid photographer and Senior Physics Professor from Indore who also delves on musicology once in a while – some of the photographs flashed here are his courtesy. Can you imagine, so passionate Sri Atre travels to most places just to cover these concerts. Truly blessed we are if such quality music recurs over and again.