Carnatic vocalist Bombay Jayashri has been selected for the Sangita Kalanidhi award of the Music Academy for 2023. The Nritiya Kalanidhi award for dance will go to Vasanthalakshmi Narasimhachari.
“The executive committee of the Music Academy at its meeting on March 19, 2023, unanimously decided to confer the awards,” said N. Murali, president of the Academy.
Talking to The Hindu from London, Ms Jayashri attributed her success in her career and awards to the blessings of her guru late violinist Lalgudi G. Jayaraman. “That he was my guru itself was a blessing”, she said while acknowledging the support and encouragement of her parents and family.
The message about the award was conveyed to her in London by Mr Murali and she thanked the Music Academy.
Ms Jayashri also thanked co-musicians who would accompany her in concerts saying, “music was a concerted effort and we created music together.” She added, “I am also grateful to the followers of my music.”
Initially trained under her parents and later under T.R. Balamani and Lalgudi G. Jayaraman, Ms Jayashri is a veena player, dancer and also trained in Hindustani music.
“She is known for her melodic and meditative style of singing and is recognised by a Padma Shri from the Indian government. She has also been training underprivileged children in music and contributing through her art to social causes,” said Mr Murali.
Her melodic voice secured her a place in Tamil film music. She first sang a duet with Malaysia Vasudevan in the film ‘Natpu’ in the music of Ilaiyaraaja. ‘Kaiveenaiyai Endhum Kalaivaniye’ in ‘Vietnam Colony’ is a memorable number along with ‘Ninnai Saranadainthen’ in the film ‘Bharathi’. Ilaiyaraaja is the music director of both films. Another famous duet is ‘Narumugaiye Narumgaiye’ with Unnikrishnan for the film ‘Iruvar’ in the music of A.R. Rahman.
Vasanthalakshmi Narasimhachari excels both in Bharathanatyam and Kuchipudi. “She is also a gifted linguist, lyricist and an accomplished nattuvanar. She learnt veena from Kamala Aswathama and dance from Adayar K. Lakshmanan and her late husband M.V. Narasimhachari with whom she paired in numerous performances,” the press release from the Academy said.
The Sangita Kala Acharya award goes to Carnatic vocalist Palkulangara Ambika Devi from Kerala and mridhangam player K.S. Kalidas, a student of late Palani M. Subramania Pillai.
Noted thavil player and teacher Thirunageswaram has been selected for the TTK award. Another musician who will get the award is Sargunanatha Odhuvar of the Kapaleeswarar temple in Myalpore.
The musicologist award will be conferred on Arimalam S. Padmanabhan, who has been doing research in classical music, dance, theatre, folk music, and classical Tamil literature.
Mr Murali said the Sangita Kalanidhi award nominee would preside over the academic sessions of the 97th annual conference and concerts of the Music Academy between December 15, 2023, and January 1, 2024. The awards will be conferred on them on January 1, 2024, the day of Sadas.
Nritya Kalanidhi recipient will receive the award at the inauguration of the 17th annual dance festival on January 3.
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