Swaralaya brings Classical ensemble in June

Unnikrishnan – a favourite highlight of the Sydney Music Festival


Carnatica Brothers

Ganesh Kumaresh

Gayatri Girirish


Ranjini Gayatri


Sanjay Subrahmanyam



By Sumi Krishnan

My visit to Chennai to listen to the Marghazhi Maasam concerts was a disaster. I say this because Chennai did not agree with my constitution at all. I became terribly sick after eating all the Sabha food and had to forego listening to Bombay Jayashree and other eminent musicians although I was a skip and a drop from the Music Academy. Thankfully now I need not worry about fighting Chennai traffic and water problems. All those musicians are here in town soon.

Swaralaya shall be holding the Festival of South Indian Carnatic Music this year again from the 11th June to 13th June at the Ian Turbott Auditorium, Parramatta Campus of University of Western Sydney in Rydalmere. The selection of artists coming to Sydney to perform for connoisseurs is a mixture of old and new. Old Favourites such as Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Violinists Ganesh and Kumaresh, Vocalists Ranjani Gayatri, Unnikrishnan, Sikkil Gurucharan, Soumya, and Ravi Kiran shall be the big drawers of audiences. Some of the new performers are yet again promising upcoming musicians making waves in the arena of music in South India, young Abhishek Raghuram, Sankaranarayanan and Gayathri Girish not to mention,   repeat favourites like Carnatica Bros and Tanjore K. Murugaboopathi , who are part of the Festival organsing committee

The programme this year has been further chiselled with the removal of the dance performance allowing more time for another musician to dress the circle. On each of the three evenings starting around 7:00pm onwards there will be Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Ranjani Gayatri and P Unnikrishnan, the calling cards to the festival and the last act. These artists deserve those three evenings to be slotted off from social calendars.

However the attractions of listening to Chitravinaa M Ravikiran, Ganesh Kumaresh and S Soumya on each of the days in the afternoon from 4:00pm will also mean that the late afternoons shall be a thing to treasure. The mid afternoon concerts at 1:00pm shall have Gayathri Girish, Sikkil Gurucharan and Abhishek Raghuram, all youngsters and stars in the making, another scintillating round up.

Morning programmes shall be beheld by those who love this artform with performances by Local Artists and students commencing at 9:00am and proceeding to concerts given by Shankara Narayanan, Carnatica Brothers and on the third day a talk and presentation by Ravi Kiran on Oothikaadu Venkada Kavi.

Accompanists who shall be performing for all of these artists will be Ganesh Prasad, Poongulam Subramanian, P Satish Kumar, NC Goapalakrishnan, K Murugaboopathi, Nagai Sriram, Trivandrum Balaji,

The usual competitions for the Carnatic Idol are on foot for those students and teachers who wish to take up this challenge and results will be announced and award giving ceremony shall be held on the evening of one of these days.

The programme is expected to draw at least an audience of 1000 each day making it a South Asian Success in the Classical Scene yet again. With prices kept low at $80 for three days with the third day free for those who purchase the season tickets and for students the tickets as low as $45 for the three days, the festival is geared towards its primary aim reaching out to a wider audience and making it affordable for all to attend and enjoy.

Competitive as they come, eleven concerts for $80 making the cost of each premier concert less than $10. Nowhere in the world can one see this happening, if this priceless artform is to be measured in rokadas at all…


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