Old & New at Thyagaraja Aradhanai

Those who intellectualise Music help bind it in its purity, those who feel Music find their Own Style.. Thyagaraja Aradhanai In Sydney is usually a battle between these two views Old and Young.. read more here

It is an event that brings out the best efforts by the organizers and a healthy participation by Carnatic Music lovers, artistes and performers alike. Sydney Music Circle conducted the Thyagaraja Aradhana on 27th and 28th Feb at the Dundas Community Centre.

The size of people’s interest and participation can be gauged from the collective numbers – an audience of over 500, senior vocal and instrumental artistes who performed numbered 83 and the junior artistes, mainly comprising of students numbered 115. The organizers deserve kudos for creating a programme that could accommodate and encourage the participation of so many. Is it any wonder that the Sydney Music Circle goes from strength to strength in its 26th year of existence despite being a voluntary body and its survival depending on finances it receives from donors.
The Aradhana itself was made up 3 segments – Thyagaraja Vandanam, Prahlada Bhakti Vijayam and Pancharatna Kritis followed by the performance of a whole lot of promising students. The main theme of the Aradhana was “Prahlada Bhakti Vijayam” one of the two musical operas composed by Saint Thyagaraja comprising 45 kirthanas set in 28 ragas with 138 verses. The organizers had requested that senior artistes should choose some of the lesser known kirthanas and the response was spontaneous. In this creation the Saint has identified himself as Prahlada and the joy that he receives from Vishnu Bhakti in his Narasimha incarnation.

[What did the Young Say Reported by Krishna Ramarathinam :

1): The Thyagaraja Aradhana is a yearly festival that provides equal opportunity for all youngsters in Sydney to present their song. This festival is a form of giving back to the sadguru whose music continues to inspire thousands of carnatic rasikas and musicians around the world. The TA 2010 registration process was very easy and there were no barriers preventing people from performing.

2): I am feeling extremely nervous at the moment. This is the first time I am performing on stage.

3) I am very nervous. I hope I don’t make mistakes on stage.

4) TA gives a yearly opportunity for students like us to perform on stage. It marks how far we have come in terms of learning and practising carnatic music.

5) TA is awesome as always. As a mrdangist, it gives me plenty of exposure and practise in playing for all these songs. This is the chance for me to put all my learning into action.

6) TA is an annual festival in which rasikas and local musicians come together to offer their humble pranams to Thyaga Brahmam. I look forward to this grand event every year as it is a chance for the community to collaborate, exchange their musical ideas and promote the art of Sastriya Sangeetham in Sydney.

7) The sound system could have been tested and balanced better. However its great to finally get a new one !]


The festival commenced on 27th Feb. with 20 Thyagaraja Krithis being performed by vocalists and veena artistes. Prahlada Bhakti Vijayam added a further 18 krithis sung by senior local artistes in small groups of 3 to 7 performers in each group. The notable feature of these two segments was the synchronization and a clear evidence of well prepared renditions.
Day two of the Aradhana started with a short pooja by Dr. Ramanathan, followed by Pancharatna Krithis sung by a group almost 50 to the accompaniment of violin and flute. There was a bonus for the audience as B U Ganesh Prasad, the highly accomplished violinist from Bangalore also played on the violin and rendered a few songs afterwards. Sydney is very lucky to have about 20 teachers of Carnatic vocal and instrumental music and they presented their select band of students on stage. Right through the day the students took turns to take the stage and give the audience a taste of their proficiency and levels of knowledge. Sydney Music Circle took this opportunity to pay tributes to the late GN Balasubramaniam whose Centenary celebrations will be conducted through the year.


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