CHENNAI: It was a pleasant change to watch K Radhakrishnan, the chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) speak about his love for Carnatic music. Talking about his favourite compositions and artistes, he said that he was always a student of music.
At the inauguration of the 88th Annual Conference and Concerts of The Music Academy on Monday, he presented the Sangita Kalanidhi M S Subbulakshmi award to veteran musician-percussionist TV Gopalakrishnan, known for his extensive interactions with musicians from the West.
Accepting the award, Gopalakrishnan vouched for the old artistes and held their performances at high esteem.
He said that Rajaratnam Pillai, M S Subbulakshmi, Palghat Mani Iyer and D K Pattammal were gems and their renditions are unparalleled in quality. Born in 1932 in Thripunithura to a family of musicians, he is the recipient of a long list of illustrious awards, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi and Padma Bhushan awards.
Gopalakrishnan expressed his concerns about the threat that classical music was facing today. “Movies, digital invasions tend to impair the quality of good classical music and the artistes who stick on to the conventional style of singing,” he said. “However, those who perform well will score,” he added, with examples of the trained playback singers like Hariharan and Shankar Mahadevan. “Aspirants who wish to pursue a career in music also need formal education, which will create more job opportunities,” he added. He also asked The Music Academy to create more branches, Gopalakrishnan said that it would help in the proliferation of Carnatic music.
The programme was also attended by singer Sudha Raghunathan and mridangam vidwan Umayalpuram Sivaraman.