The Palghat Fine Arts Society (PFAS) Diamond Jubilee celebrations kicked off here on Tuesday with a week-long national music festival. Koodiyattam Kalamandalam maestro Sivan Namboodiri and musician Mannur Rajakumaranunni opened the celebrations.
Nadaswara Maestro Thiruvizha Jayasankar won the Palghat Fine Arts Award of the Diamond Jubilee Year. Sivan Namboothiri presented the award during the inaugural ceremony held at the PFAS Auditorium.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Jayasankar lamented a widespread trend among music students that their listening habits are decreasing. “These days, music students hardly spend time listening to others. They are in a world of their own music. The best learning comes from listening,” he said.
PN Subbaraman, secretary of PFAS, welcomed the gathering. Fr. Jayapala Menon, President of PFAS, presided over the ceremony.
PFAS dedicated the inaugural day of its 12th National Music Festival to Purandara Dasa, the 15th philosopher of the century widely called the father of Carnatic music. “Each day of the festival is dedicated to a legend,” Mr. Subbaraman said.
A violin concert by Mysore Manjunath and Mysore Nagaraj opened the festival on Tuesday evening. Anantha R. Krishna was on mridamgam and V. Suresh on ghatom.
Launched in 1960, the PFAS has played an important role in the cultural molding of Palakkad. “As a border town, Palakkad is a place where people come from different cultural traditions and speak different languages. It has enriched the city in so many ways, from food habits to cultural aspirations,” Mr. Subbaraman said.
From Semmangudi Srinvasa Iyer, Lalgudi G. Jayaraman, Trichy Sankaran, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, MD Ramanathan and MS Subbalakshmi to KB Sundarambal, DK Pattammal, P. Leela and KJ Yesudas, there is no Carnatic musician who has not played in Palakkad.
Besides singing, maestros of violin, mridamgam, ghatom, kanjira, moorsing, flute, veena, nadaswaram, thavil, harikatha, saxophone, clarinet and mandolin performed for the PFAS.
On Wednesday, Rithvika Raj will lead a vocal concert with Sayee Rashith on violin, Thiruvaarur Bhakthavalsalam on mridamgam and Chandrasekara Sharma on ghatom.
On Thursday, Vignesh Ishwar will lead a vocal concert with Vittal Rangan on violin, Sumesh S. Narayanan on mridamgam and V. Anirudh Athreya on kanjira.
On Friday, Palakkad R. Ramaprasad will conduct a vocal concert with Trivandrum N. Sampath on violin, NC Bharadwaj on mridamgam and Uduppi Shreedhar on ghatom.
On Saturday, NJ Nandini will lead a vocal concert with R. Raghul on violin, A. Balakrishna Kamath on mridamgam and Kadanad G. Ananthakrishnan on kanjira.
On Sunday there will be a Thyagaraja Aradhana Pancharatna Keerthanalapanam. S. Saketharaman will conduct a vocal concert with HN Bhaskar on violin, B. Harikumar on mridamgam and Alathur T. Rajaganesh on kanjira.
On the last day of the festival, October 31, Ramakrishnan Murthy will conduct a vocal concert with Gokul V. Alankode on violin, KV Prasad on mridamgam and Vazhappally R. Krishnakumar on ghatom.