| Dr. N. Ramani (Carnatic Flute)
Sri. A.K.C. Natarajan (Clarinet)
in an instrumental duet concert accompanied by,
Sri. Nagai Muralidharan (Violin)
Sri. Srimushnam Rajarao (Mridangam)
April 10, 2005, 5:00 pm
About the artists:
A most distinguished disciple of the legendary T.R.Mahalingam, Dr. N. Ramani is undoubtedly the greatest Carnatic flautist of the modern times. Born on 15th October, 1934, he belongs to a musical family. His grandfather Sri. Narayana Iyer was a flautist himself and taught his grandson all that he knew, before Ramani could train under the wayward but brilliant prodigy and genius, T.R. Mahalingam (Flute Mali). He made his debut on the concert platform at the age of 11 at the Rasika Ranjani Sabha, Mylapore, Madras. A pioneer in modern day Jugalbandi with the first such performance taking place back in 1971, he appeared with Hariprasad Chaurasia. Later he was part of the Violin Veena Venu ensemble created by Lalgudi Jayaraman. He mastered the technique of blowing and cross fingering that his guru Mali made famous and developed a new technique of his own, of playing across two octaves on the flute like it is done without a break in vocal and violin music. Dr. Ramani is known for his technical excellence and masterful improvisation. Although he indulges in fusion and Jugalbandis he prefers to play pure Carnatic music abroad. His fame in India and overseas, is based on the classical purity and the vocal quality of his flute playing. He is believed to be the South Indian counterpart of western top ranking exponents of the flute such as James Galway and Jean Pierre Ramphal. N. Ramani has been honoured with numerous titles and awards like, the Kalaimamani, by the Tamil Nadu Government, the Saptagiri Vidwan Mani by the TTD, the Sangita Nataka Academy Award in 1985 and the Sangita Kalanidhi in 1996. He has also released many CDs and cassettes. Dr. Ramani had a number of disciples who eventually formed the Ramani`s Academy of Flute in 1983. He has also been a regular performer for the All India Radio since 1947 and has toured extensively worldwide propagating his music. With his long tenure in the field of classical music, Dr.N. Ramani earned himself the designation of one of worlds most masterful bamboo flautists.
Sri. A.K.C. Natarajan was born in Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India on 30 March, 1931. He started learning music at the very early age of 10 from from Alathur Sri Venkateswara Iyer. He did not restrict his musical talents to only vocal music. He also learnt the Nathaswaram from Ellupur Natesa Pillai and the clarinet from his father, late Sri. A.K. Chinnakrishna Naidu. With his immense musical prowess, it was no wonder that he gave his first performance at the age of 15 and joined the All India Radio as a staff artist in Calicut & Delhi. Following considerable success, he started giving live performances in India as well as abroad and received numerous awards. He also holds the distinction of having the post of Thiruvadhuthurai Adeena Vidvan & Dharmapuran Adeena Vidwan. He was also made the Asthana Vidvan of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. One of the most prestigious awards which he has recieved is the `Clarinet Chakravarthi` given by the Maharaja of Mysore, Sri Jayachamaraja Wodeyar at the Dasara Function, and `The Sangeet Natak Academy Award` in 1995. He was also made an `Arasavai Kalaignar` by the government of Tamil Nadu.
In his career as a Mridangam artiste
spanning nearly four decades, Sri. Srimushnam S. Rajarao has earned the
respect and admiration of not only the Rasikas but also fellow artistes and is now rated
among the top few percussionists in the field of Carnatic Music. He hails from a family of
fine musicians, his father and grandfather being great Vidwans themselves. He is a prime
example of great Mridangam players trained by the legendary Kumbakonam Rajapaa Iyer and is
keeping up the traditions in concerts all over the world. In his more than dozen tours of
North America and the countless tours of other countries, he has established himself as a
fine artiste, a great accompanist contributing greatly to the success of the concert. He
has played for all the leading artistes both in Indian Sabhas and Music Festivals held in
every continent. He is a fine vocal artiste himself, though he has confined himself mostly
to the percussion field. He has been awarded many titles and awards including the
appointment as 'Asthana Vidwan' by both Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam and Sringeri Sarada Peetam,
also by the famous Pillayarpatti Ganapathy Temple. North American rasikas honored him with
the title of 'Sangeetha Ratnakara' at the Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival in 1997. He is a
tireless worker in promoting Carnatic Music both in India and abroad and he has
contributed greatly towards the success of the Cleveland Thyagraja Festivals over many
of the Saint Paul Campus of the University of Saint Thomas.
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