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Monday, October 24, 2016

Musicathon: sixty years of symphony


Six decades and on, the carnatic vocalist duo of R N Thyagarajan and R N Tharanathan, popularly known as Rudrapatnam Brothers, have been entertaining the country with their performances and preserving the classicism of the Carnatic tradition. Hailing from the Thyagaraja lineage, a legacy that has been passed down to three or four generations, the duo has met many maestros of their times during their musical journey. “We have visited legends like M S Subbulakshmi and Lalgudi Jayaraman,” Thyagarajan says. The latter even pointed out their mistakes to them after concerts. “We also sat down with Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer to get some notations.”

In October, which marks the 60th year of their togetherness, the Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA) honoured them for their lifelong services to performing arts.Having sung at several prestigious sabhas in the country, including the Sri Rama Seva Mandali in Bengaluru, where they live now, and in forums in the US, the UK, Singapore and Malaysia, they have performed at 2,500 concerts to date. “That’s only an estimate, but the number is definitely in thousands,” says Thyagarajan. “And mostly we’ve performed together.”For Thyagarajan, a master’s in mathematics, who retired as deputy director of Doordarshan in 2003, and Tharanathan, a PhD in organic chemistry, who retired as assistant director of Central Food Technical Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysuru, a decade ago, concentrating on work and performance was not easy at all. “As we held responsible positions in our organisations, we couldn’t afford to slack off even a little at work,” says Thyagarajan. Monday mornings were particularly difficult as the brothers often arrived at work directly from the railway station. “I would get my students to take me home during the 10.15 am coffee break so that I could freshen up,” says Tharanathan.

Going down the memory lane, they add, “We grew up in a musical environment. Our father R K Narayana Swamy and his three brothers—R K Venkatarama Shastry, R K Ramanathan and R K Srikantan—were accomplished musicians. But we began performing even before our formal training began.” The elder of the two, Thyagarajan, says: “Our father was disheartened by the lack of opportunities he got despite his perseverance.” He even ignored our mother’s requests to train us, his brother adds. But this didn’t put them off. They had no radio at home, but they would listen to the programmes played on their Mysuru neighbour’s receiver. They would take down notations of the pieces they liked. “So we could sing them later,” says Thyagarajan, who also learned to read Tamil, while serving in Doordarshan in Chennai, so that he could access more classical notations. When Thyagarajan was 11 and Tharanathan nearly nine, their grandmother and a maternal uncle organised a concert for their debut public performance at Mysuru’s Vontikoppul neighbourhood. 

Source and Credit :- http://www.newindianexpress.com/magazine/2016/oct/22/musicathon-sixty-years-of-symphon
Forwarded by :- Shri. Jainendra Nigam PB News Desk  ,
prasarbharati.newsdesk@gmail.com

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