OUR GURU’S 80TH BIRTH ANNIVERSARY
Our concert on December 16, 2007 for the Margazhi fest of the Chennai Sabha Naada Inbam was of special importance since it happened to be the 80th Birth Anniversary of our Guru Late A. Anantharama Iyer. We reproduce below in part, the speech that we delivered before we concluded the concert.
“Today happens to be the 80th Birth anniversary of our Guru Vainika Vidwan Late Anantharama Iyer. Our Guru belonged to the unbroken lineage of the sishya parampara of Nadajyoti Muthuswamy Dikshitar. Our guru’s father, Brahmasri Ananthakrishna Iyer who learnt directly from Ambi Dikshitar, the great grand nephew of Muthuswamy Dikshitar, founded the school Sri Guruguha Gana Vidyalaya in Calcutta to which we belong. Though it goes without saying that our Guru had a great repertoire of Dikshitar krithis, he was extremely catholic. I remember he used to say, if you want to play Sahana elaborately, Giripai would be the most appropriate krithi. He also believed that if the duration of a concert was more than 2 hours, be it vocal or instrumental, one should include a pallavi. in fact when we moved to Chennai, he was quick to suggest that we should go to the great Vidvan Chingleput Ranganathan sir to learn about the scientific approach to pallavis. We are extremely thankful to Ranganathan sir for having taken us in his fold.
If we are able to move our fingers on the veena fretboard today, it is only due to the painstaking efforts of our beloved Gurus Anantharama Iyer and his sister Smt Champakavalli, both of whom are not with us today. Our heartfelt gratitude to Sangeetha Kalanidhi Shri Vellore Ramabhadran sir for having agreed to accompany us today. We are a complete mismatch to him both in terms of vidwath and stature, yet it is indeed very gracious of him to accept to play for us. Last but not the least, we would like to thank Smt Jaya of Naada Inbam for having given us this opportunity, and all the rasikas for having come all the way to listen to us.”
Given below is the link to the review of the concert that appeared in The Hindu: