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A treasure house of classical music

Staff Reporter

PALAKKAD: Palakkad is described as the ‘Thanjore of Kerala' as the district has made great contributions to the world of Carnatic music and was home to some of the greatest talents of the music genre.

There was a galaxy of musicians who were doyens of their times and even now the tradition is kept. Many present-day Carnatic musicians of repute hail from here.

The Palghat Fine Arts Society, established in 1960, has been promoting the fine arts in general and classical music in particular in the district for the past 50 years. “Almost all top artists in Carnatic music have performed in the society and many young and upcoming artists have been given opportunity to perform here,” said P.N. Subbaraman, secretary of the society.

The society's president T.R. Rajagopal said its golden jubilee celebrations would be inaugurated by Governor of Maharashtra K. Sankaranaryanan on October 22. It would be followed by a four-day Carnatic music festival.

During the last 50 years, the society organised monthly carnatic music programmes without break. It is a record of sort, according to the office-bearers.

Noted musicians like the late Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, M.S. Subbalakshmi, Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Chemmangudi Srinivas Iyer, Madurai Mani Iyer, M.D. Ramanathan, M.L. Vasantha Kumari, Palghat K.V. Narayana Swamy, D.K. Jayaraman, Maharajapuram Santhanam, Flute Mahalingam (Mali), D.K. Pattammal etc. have performed here.

Famous instrumentalists like Mysore T. Chowdiah, Kumbakonam Rajamanikam Pillai, T.N. Krishnan, Lalgudi G. Jayaraman, M.S. Gopalakrishnan, Chalakkudi Narayanswamy (violin), Mridangam maestro Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer, Pazhani Subramania Pillai, Umayalpuram Sivaraman, Vellore Sri Ramabhadran, Palghat T.S. Raghu, Mavelikkara Krishnankutty Nair and Mavelikkara Velukutti Nair (Mridangam) and Ghatom maestros Vilwadri Iyer, Alangudi Ramachandran and Vikku Vinayakaram have added lustre to the master-performances at the society.

A number of present-day musicians like K.J. Yesudas, Omanakutty, T.M. Krishna etc., has also performed at the monthly music concerts of the society.

The society also encourages young and upcoming artists, some of whom have achieved great heights now. They include Trichur V. Ramachandran, T.V. Sankaranarayanan, Madurai T.V. Seshagopalan, P. Unnikrishnan, Radha and Jayalakshmi, The Bombay Sisters—C. Saroja and C. Lalitha, Sudha Raghunath, Nithaysree Mahadevan, O.S. Thyagarajan, Sanjay Subramaniyan, Bombay Jayasree and others.

Saxophone maestro Kadiri Gopalnath and mandolin maestro Srinivas and also luminaries in Nadaswaram, like late Sheik Chinna Moulana Sahib, Namagiri Pettai Krishnan and Thiruvizha Jayashankar etc., have performed at the society.

The society, which has constructed an auditorium at Tharekkad in the heart of Palakkad town, is planning to set up a cultural complex.

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