Festival to honour veena maestro

Festival to honour veena maestro

An event marking the100th birth anniversary of V Doreswamy Iyengar will be held on March 7

The Veena Doreswamy Iyengar Memorial Trust and Academy of Music, Bengaluru is organising an event to mark the Carnatic musician and veena maestro’s birth centenary. 

Born in 1920, Iyengar was considered one of the greatest exponents of the Mysuru style of veena playing. Son of flautist and veena player Venkatesh Iyengar, Doreswamy started playing professionally at the age of six.

Over the course of his career, he participated in many jugalbandis, composed music for dance dramas, and even a few Kannada films. ‘Subba Shastry’  by MV Krishnaswamy was the most notable of his works in the film industry. He set the music for the work of many poets such as RS Mugali and DVG’s ‘Anthapura Geethe’. He also scored the music for 12 musical operas by PT Narasimhachar. 

In 1955, he moved to Bengaluru, where he was appointed producer at the Bengaluru station of the All India Radio. He worked here for 25 years. The Gita Bharati, which brought together Thyagaraja and Muthuswami Dikshitar’s kritis with Rabindranath Tagore’s Bengali songs, was his creation. 

He was the recipient of many accolades including the Padma Bhushan, the Chowdiah National Memorial Award and the Sangeetha Kalaratna of the Bangalore Gayana Samaj. 

Year-long celebrations

In an effort to celebrate the man, his music and his contributions to the artistic world, the Veena Doreswamy Iyengar Memorial Trust is organising concerts for a whole year.

The centenary celebrations, which began on August 12, 2019, will conclude on August 11, 2020. 

The event being conducted this weekend will witness Finance Minister Nirmala Seetharaman as the chief guest. CM BS Yediyurappa, ministers DV Sadananda Gowda and  CN Aswathanarayana, N Murali,
president of Madras Music Academy, and Tejaswini Ananth Kumar, president of Adamya Chethana Foundation will attend as guests of honour. They will over felicitations to the musician.

The birth centenary celebrations will be held on March 7, 10 am to 8 pm, at the Chowdiah Memorial Hall, Malleshwaram. 

Son reminisces

“I played the veena for an AIR broadcast. My father, who heard my rendition, told me afterwards that I could be like him in the future; that I played well. I was 35 years old at the time and it was the first time in my life that he praised me. It was a very precious moment for me,” says D Balakrishna.

Programme schedule 

Flute and veena recitals, a play and dance-drama will make up the itinerary for the evening.

“He was a scholarly musician, and not only a veena player. It would be wrong to limit the celebrations to only the veena,” says D Balakrishna, his son
and veena artiste. 

10 am to 11.15 am:
Grand Flute Recital by Shashank Subramanyam, Mysore Srikanth, Arjun Kumar and Sunaad Anoor

11.30 am to 12.30 pm:
Divine blessings by Yadugiri Yathiraja Narayana Ramanuja Jeeyar.

2 pm to 4 pm: ‘Veeneya Dore’, a play on Doreswamy Iyengar’s life by Kala Gangotri troupe

4 pm to 4.30 pm:
Coffee break

4.30 pm to 6 pm:
Veena recital by D Balakrishna, Bangalore V Praveen and S Ragavendra Prakash

6 pm to 8 pm:
Madhura Smruthi,  a dance-drama, by Nupura School of Dance. It is based on Pu Ti Na’s ‘Gokula Nirgamana’  a literary composition that Iyengar had set music to.

 An exhibition of articles on Iyengar, as well as reviews of his concerts, since the ’60s, old photographs and awards will also be set up. One of his three veenas will also be on display.