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Music Grips the Air as December Revisits Chennai
Sudha Ragunathan & T.M. Krishna will be missed
CHENNAI, November 30: With December arriving, Carnatic music lovers in Chennai are gearing up for a season of enjoyable and elevated experience. Even before the start of the season, however, they are in for a disappointment. This Marghazi Music Extravaganza will not feature two leading artistes of our time. While the multi-talented T.M. Krishna has already announced that he would not be participating in the Chennai December Music Season due to his by now well-articulated disappointment and anger over the bias in the way the Sabhs here conduct their music festivals, the leading lady of the Carnatic music world Sudha Ragunathan has to excuse herself from singing this season due to health issues and on the advice of doctors. Surely, both Krishna and Sudha will be sorely missed by the rasikas this season.

Admittedly, the focus this season especially will be on vocalist Sanjay Subrahmanyam, who is being conferred, deservingly no doubt, the prestigious ‘Sangita Kalanidhi’ title by The Music Academy this year. He is a crowd-puller, and has a huge fan following. Sangita Kalanidhi title to Sanjay will further incentivize his rasikas to flock to his concerts with lot more determination. Of course, the young Abishek Raghuraman, the new darling of young and old raikas alike across gender, is expected to reinforce his rising stature in the field during the upcoming season. There is also the ever-sober Vijay Shiva to lend seriousness to the entire festivity. The Malladi and Trichur brothers are there to provide variety to the season. With Sikkil Gurucharan hogging news headlines often with his alliance with Pianist Anil Srinivasan, the expectations from him are much higher. Indeed, there are these rising stars – from junior Balamuralikrishna (Kunnakudi) to Sandeep Narayanan, who are making quite a mark of late in concert circles. The New Age kids such as Ritvik Raja, Bharat Sundar and Ramakrishna Murthy, among many, will be out there to prove a point or two during the season, and reserve a permanent presence in the Chennai December Season.

In the absence of Sudha, the ladies’ team will be spearheaded by the melodious Bombay Jayashri, popular Aruna Sairam, vibrant Nityashre and a resourceful Sowmya. The siblings – RAGA sisters (Ranjani and Gayatri), Priya sisters and Mambalam sisters – will, as usual, be looked upon to refresh the long drawn out festival with their vibrant duet. The versatile Vijayalakshmy Subramaniam and the two Gayatris – Gayatri Girish and Gayatri Venkatraghaan – are indeed ``can’t miss artistes’’, given their well-rounded talent. Savitha Narasimhan, Amrutha Murali, Nisha Rajagopalan, Vidya Kalyanaraman, Sriranjani Santhanagopalan, Keerthana Vaidyanathan and Chiatra Sairam, among others, are artistes with immense talent, and they are the hopes of the future. One needs to make a special mention about Anahita Ravindran and Apoorva Ravindran, the highly talented young sisters.

For the old timers among rasikas, the festival will feature a plenty of yester-year star artistes. They, in a way, provide the link between the past and the present. A new season is just about to commence. December festival is about experience. It boils down to enjoyment. Chennai is the place of convergence for everybody during December. It is time to participate and rediscover the roots. Surely, it is celebration time. Surely, arguments can wait.