Search this site or the web        powered by FreeFind
  Site search Web search
Discernment. Online

'The alapana in raga Bahudari was excellent'
In Association with



Reader Review

A singer emerges in Houston  

Sukanya Balachandran, disciple of Anuradha Subramanian, makes her debut in Houston

Yet another bud blossoms in the Houston area. Sukanya Balachandran presented her debut Karnatak music concert recently.

Kanthi Devi, mother of Dr S Vijai Shanker, founder of Kaivalya Shivalaya Ashram, lit a lamp and the program began with a prayer by Lalitha Balachandran, mother of Sukanya.

Padmini Chari, director of Nrithya School of Dance and the emcee for the evening, said when someone claims to be a dancer or musician, the question always arises who the guru could be. "They say", she remarked, "Tell me who the guru is and I'll judge the caliber of the performer." Teacher Anuradha Subramanian and student Sukanya had developed a longstanding bond.

Sukanya used her innate musical gift to the best of her ability. With a natural flow of swaras and alapana, the concert was definitely pitched as a professional performance. Beginning with a vibrant Re Re Maanasa in Raga Nattai, Sukanya ventured into a plethora of songs by different composers such as Chengalvaraya Sastri, Thyagaraja, Purandaradasa, Muthuswami Dikshitar, Patnam Subramanya Iyer, Ambujam Krishna, Swathi Thirunal, Annamacharya and Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar. Kalpana swaras flowed with ease. Raga niraval and the briga were quite impressive.

The alapana in raga Bahudari, in which she sang Brohva Barama, and Chandrasekharam in raga Marga Hindolam were excellent. Sukanya chose Kalyani as her main raga, and the song Nija Dasa Varadha. Her renditions included Yendha Mukham in Kalyana Vasantham, Saranga raga priye in raga Saranga, Sashi Vadhana in raga Chandrajyothi, Baro Namma Manage in raga Vasantha, Swara Janaka in raga Behag, and in each of them she brought out the beauty of the raga and the song.

The popular Brahmam Okattae was well received. Set to a folk tune, it was rendered exceptionally well. The penultimate number was a thillana and the finale came with Namamame Maeku Madhava in raga Madhyamavathi, listing the various names of Mahavishnu.

Excellent support on the violin was provided by Dr S Venkataraman of Dallas. Shanker Ayyar Ramji's thani aavarthanam has always been of a high quality. The accompaniments made the concert wholly enjoyable.

Kantha Devi, overwhelmed with joy, blessed Sukanya. Anuradha Subramanian, daughter of Savithri Sathyamurthi, a renowned musician, has to be congratulated on the excellent training and preparation of her student. Sukanya referred to her teacher as a "perfectionist", a description very well established in the concert.

Sukanya acknowledged that the performance could not have materialized but for her parents, Lalitha and Balachandran, who provided her with the opportunity and encouragement. Sukanya also thanked Anuradha and her husband Subramanian whom she described as her "second parents", for motivating her to perform a full-fledged concert. Sukanya Balachandran is a sophomore student at McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.

It was indeed a proud moment for Houston music lovers to see the little girl they had known not to too long ago singing the saraliswaram bloom into concert musician.

Thara Narasimhan

Published on 21  April 2002

Write to the editor

Fabmart Music

Music alert!

Want updates on The Music Magazine's latest stories? Send us your e-mail ID, details of genres you are interested in, and any other information you think is relevant. We plan to alert you to new stuff on your favourite magazine

Top  | Home

Press Ctrl D to bookmark The Music Magazine

Media praise for your favourite e-zine from India:

*For fans of Indian music, there is no better resource on the Web -- CNet
*Well researched -- India Today
*Fantastic site -- Hitbox
*Web's best -- Britannica
*Superb coverage... worth tuning in to -- Rediff
*Classy -- Deccan Herald