Feud results in two lifetime music awards

This Ramanavami music season witnesses two awards being presented in memory of wellknown festival organiser SVN Rao

The Ramanavami music festival at Fort High School promotes Indian classical music, both Carnatic and Hindustani. This year, Sumanth Manjunath and Indrayuddh Majumder presented a jugalbandi featuring the two styles.

Two awards are being given this year in the name of S V Narayanaswamy Rao (1924–2000), the moving spirit behind the annual Ramanavami music festival in Bengaluru.

One of Bengaluru’s most awaited events, the 81st edition of the festival began on April 6. It ends on May 6.

The festival brings to Bengaluru India’s best-known musicians, and this year’s line-up includes Bombay Jayashree, Jayanthi Kumaresh, Pravin Godhkindi and Vidyabhushana.

On February 1, Metrolife had reported on a feud for the Ramanavami music festival legacy, with Rao’s youngest son S N Varadaraj on one side, and his four brothers and a sister on the other.

The trust helmed by Varadaraj honoured well-known film singer S P Balasubramanyam with the S V Narayanaswamy Rao Global Music Award. Some connoisseurs were unhappy with the choice of awardee, and even wrote to the hosts about their reservations. They said while they respected SPB, the award was meant to recognise excellence in classical music.

It had never been given to a non-classical musician, they protested. Among previous awardees are such greats as Bismillah Khan and Jasraj.

SPB received the S V Narayanaswamy Rao Global Music Award on April 21 at Fort High School grounds, longtime venue of the annual festival. Another award is being presented on May 5 by the Sree Ramaseva Mandali Trust.

The other trust which includes the brothers and a sister is conferring the S V Narayanswamy Rao Memorial National Award to A R Subramaniam, thavil maestro, this Sunday. This being the 19th year of the award ceremony, A R Subramaniam is the 23rd recipient of this award.

Sri Viswesa Tirtha Swamiji, pontiff of the Pejavar Mutt, Dr K Radhakrishnan, former chairman of ISRO, Satyadhyana Acharya Katti, administrator of Uttaradi Mutt, and Kadri Gopalnath, renowned saxophonist, are among the distinguished guests doing the honours.

“I am aware another award is being given on May 5. It is a different award with a different name,” Varadaraj told Metrolife.

His brothers Ramprasad and Venkatesh Prasad say the award being presented on May 5 is the very same being presented since 2001, the year after Narayanaswamy Rao passed away.

“This is the true award and we are presenting it to a Carnatic musician according to tradition,” Ramprasad told Metrolife.

He recalled the first award was presented to M S Subbulakshmi. “We made a trip to Chennai since she was not well,” he recalled.

Two awards, one commemoration

Thavil maestro A R Subramaniam gets the S V Narayanaswamy Rao Memorial National Award on May 5. S P Balasubramanyam, singer of hit film songs in multiple languages, received the S V Narayanaswamy Global Music Award on April 21.

S V Narayanaswamy Rao Memorial National Award presentation.
When: May 5, Sunday
Time: 6 pm
Where: Sri Sathya Pramodha Mantap,Uttaradi Mutt, opp National College,Basavanagudi.

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