Published November 19th, 2014 by

Differently abled musicians perform

The 10th edition of the Parallel Music Fest in December organized by the Rotary club of Coromandel will be on the Dec 3rd, 2014 – World Disability Day.

Distinguished Differently Abled Artiste title will be conferred on percussionist H. Ramakrishnan and Sangita Kalanidhi designate T. V. Gopalakrishnan will be honored.

Venue:  Music Academy mini hall

Date & time: Dec. 3 at 4.30 p.m


4.30 -6.00 pm : Felicitation Programme & prize distribution of the Music Competition conducted for the differently abled musicians

6 pm – 7.30 pm: Carnatic vocal by B.Jairam, Nagpur

T.K.Padmanabhan – Violin

Erode Nagarajan –  Mridangam

Nadakanal Srivatsa –  Kanjira

7.30 -8.30 pm : Hindustani vocal by Deva N.Chinchalli, Gadag, Hubli

Disciple of Late Pandit Puttaraj Gavai, Hubli

All the musicians performing in the event are differently abled.

Published November 18th, 2014 by

Wrapping up the fall tour

-Usha Ramachandran

The venue for the concert at St.Louis was a cathedral converted to a musical theatre. It was such an energizing concert with Thodi as the main piece and a Pallavi in Ragam Saraswathi. With some time off to take a peek at the famous arch at St.Louis, the next venue for the concert was Minneapolis. With beautiful fall colors and a land of 10,000 or more lakes, it was a pallavi in Keeravani, Devi  jagat janani in Shankarabhranam with a couple of bhajans for the august audience. The stage was complete with Balaji Chandran on the ghatam and Sriram Natarajan on the Kanjira along with Tanjavur Murugaboopathi -Mridangam and Mysore Srikanth on the Violin. After all the fun visiting the downtown and spending a good time at MN, the concert at Sri Ganesha temple, Nashville had a Mohanam pallavi set by her guru Sri Sundaresan with a thani avarthanam following it. Karikalabamukham in Saveri and a thukkada on Vinayaka in ragam Saraswathi that was preceded by few lines from Avvayar’s Vinayakar Agaval for the devoted audience at the temple.

The artist and team took off to Atlanta, the next day to perform for CAMAGA. It was Shiva Vishnu temple, and Sri Ram Sriram was among the audience. The rasikas witnessed Chandrajyothi , Karaharapriya and a Dharmavathy pallavi. At Ft.Lauderale, Florida concert, there were many song requests from the audience. Hariharaputhram in vasantha, O Ranga Sayee in Kambhoji, Jagadodarana – Kapi, Manadir kugandhadhu – Sindubhairavi with a Charukesi Pallavi and Darbari Kannada thillana were some of the songs.

A very nice auditorium at Ottawa raised curtains for a Kamboji varnam, a pallavi in Brindavana  Saranga and Kamalambam Bhajare in Kalyani as the main piece. A visit to the Capitol building, freedom tower and pink lake excited the artist. The stage at Toronto was set for more of Dikshithar compostions.  A song in Nattai, Sri Subrahmanyomam rakshathu in Thodi, Kanna Katharul – a thematic composition of Sri Papanasam Sivan in Ragam Madhyamavathi was sung on the occasion of Deepavali, Vandemam pahi, Ranga Pura Vihara in Brindavana saranga and RTP in Himavathy were presented.

At Calgary, it was time for a Thodi Swarajathi and the main ragam was Charukesi with Kripaya palaya. It was a hectic week and and in Los Angeles, a dwiraga pallavi in Amruthavarshini and Anandabhairavi was sung.  Manasu Swadhina in Shankarabharanam was sung based on the audience request.

The main piece at Philadelphia was RTP in Arabhi and Khanda jathi triputa khanda nada thalam. With some sight- seeing to the downtown the next concert was at Connecticut. It was Saroja dalanetri in Shankarabharanam that took the center stage. With a sub main Mara jananim ashraye in Nataka priya the concert at the temple premise was very divine and blissful.

This year’s fall tour was successful and blessed with more concerts happening at temples all over North America.

Carnatic world thanks Smt.Gayathri Venkatraghavan for taking time off from her busy schedule to promptly update us the highlights of all her concerts. With the December season fast approaching, we wish her all success in her endeavours.

Highlights of the concerts at Columbus, OH & Dayton, OH

-Usha Ramachandran

The concert in Columbus, OH for CCMA had Smt.Seetha Lakshmi (disciple of Sri.Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer) and dancer Smt.Parvathi Ghantasala as the guests of honor.  With the ongoing navarathri festival, it was perfect for the artist to sing Janani Mamva (Navarathri Krithi) in bhairavi in the navarathri mandapam style with the Mridangam being played during the rendering of thanam. Matha Innum vatha, a Papanasam sivan krithi in Sriranjani took its spot as the sub main piece with araamude –tiruarutpa in the post thank session.

Dayton,OH concert for the Hindu Temple was very divine. The venue was the beautiful Venkatachalapathy temple and the artist was more than happy to present the entire concert in front of the deity.  Dikshithar’s Kamalamba navavarnam in Anandabhairavi, Shyama shastri’s Palimsu Kamakshi – Madhyamavathi, Durga Lakshmi Saraswathi in Arabhi by Papanasam Sivan with a sub main Venkataramana in Lathangi stormed the temple with the rasikas welcoming and applauding every song. Aadum Chidambaram in behag by Gopalakrishna bharathi and Purandaradasa’s Jagodhodharana in Kaapi were also well received.

The artist took her time off to visit a lot of places in Dayton this time. Some places that fascinated her were the Wright brother’s museum and the Air field.

Saraswathi pooja this year was the best ever away from home with a heavy feast by the host.

On the occasion of Vijayadasami, Smt.Gayathri would like to convey her respects to all her gurus and also advises the music students to meet their guru’s if they happen to be in the same town and pay their repects. With a busy schedule away from home, the artist did not forget to call upon her guru and offer her pranams and get his blessings on this occasion.

She happily welcomes every new student and listener who will be beginning their musical journey on the auspicious day of Vijayadasami.  She wishes them all success and tells them to firmly trust and believe in their guru.

Swathi Thirunal day and dedication to the Mandolin genius

-Usha Ramachandran

Smt.Gayathri Venkatraghavan’s concert on 20th Sep at Baltimore was focused on Maharaja Swathi Thirunal’s compositions as SSVT, Baltimore was celebrating Swathi Thirunal day. The concert was dedicated to the Mandolin maestro Sri U.Srinivas.

The audience was so very receptive to the krithis that were performed. The song list is as follows:

1. Pahi Sripate-Hamsadwani-Adi
2. Gopanandana-Bhushavali-Adi
3. Bhavativiswasome-Mukhari-Misra chapu(From Navavidha Bhakthi-Sakhyam)
4. Paalayamam-kamas-Adi
5. Sumasayaka-Kapi and Ragamalika-Pada Varnam -Roopagam
6. Karunakara madhava-Begada-Roopagam
7. Bharathi Mamava-Thodi-Adi-(Navaratri Kriti)
8. Cheliye-Brindavanasaranga-Adi-Bhajan
9. Saaramaina-Behag-Roopagam-Javali
10. Aliveli-Kurinji-Misra Chapu-Javali
11. Ragamalika Slokam
12. Bhavayami Raghuramam-Ragamalika-Roopam
13. Mangalam Bhujagasayinom


Her latest album Trishakti by Charsur digital workstation on Icchha shakti , Gyana shakti , Kriya shakti is a combination of songs on all 3 goddesses (Lakshmi, Saraswathi & Durga). The album also includes a Shloka by Kalidasa and Kumaraguruparar. It can be downloaded online or bought from stores.

To be a successful musician

Guru’s blessings are the most important. It is best when parents discover the child’s talent at the young age and get them trained under the right guru. Hard work, systematic approach following a time table and practicing all the varisai’s regularly will help build a good voice.

Music is an aesthetic gift and not a life skill. Parents should patiently allow the child to explore and unravel the musical journey by listening to more concerts and encouraging them to maintain class logs and concert logs. An advanced learner should also learn to tune the tambura.

On Vijayadasami

Guru Sundaresan mama is a very dedicated artist and we get to meet all our friends and it’s a celebration. It is a day when I get to meet all my students as well. Janani Mamava in bhairavi is one such krithi learnt on Vijayadasami day. With the technology boom, Vijayadasami classes also happen over Whatsapp, Skype for my students when I travel for concerts abroad.

Highlights of the concerts at Houston, TX (12th Sep), Sanjose, CA (13th Sep) & Sandiego, CA (14th Sep)

-Usha Ramachandran


Smt.Gayathri Venkataraghavan began her concert at Meenakshi temple, Houston with a rare varnam in bahuadri composed by her guru Sri.A.Sundaresan. The intensity of devotion was shown in “Devi Ni Padasarasamule” in kambhoji, one of Shyama shastri’s navarathna krithis. The aesthetic beauty of this song is in the swaraksharam. Neravals in “Sri Velayu madhurapuri” were beautifully sung and displayed fine musicianship. RTP in hindolam was perfect and the audiences were spell bound. “Arul seyya vendum ayya” of Koteeswara Iyer in rasika priya was perfectly delivered. She sang the Purandaradasa composition Yadhana ni ba and Annamacharya’s “Bhavayami gopalabalam” in yamuna kalyani along with “Matha Parashakti” for a dedictated audience and passionate listeners.

After a long flight to Sanjose and a tiring journey, Vandisuvaradi in nattai gave a brisk start to the concert. Her dynamic presentation of “Janani ninnuvina” in reethi gowlai, “Koluvamare gada” in thodi and RTP in Hamsanadam were the highlights. The artist as well as the audience were captivated with heavenly music. Mysore Srikanth’s forte is the thanam with energy style which was unique. Thanjavur K.Bhoopathy who is liked for his nadam by all delivered perfectly and was well received. The artists brought out the best in each other through their improvisations. Akihyan hari darshan ki pyasi a very famous Surdas bhajan reverberated everybody’s ears.

The artist was all set for the concert at Sandiego and started the kutcheri with “Mathe”, a dharu varnam of Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar. Also, as it is the birth anniversary month of MS amma and Smt.Gayathri was sure to include a popular MS Subbulakshmi song in each of her concert. Shyama shashtri’s composition, “Mayamma” in Nattakurunji was well rendered. The main piece was “Upacharmu” in bhairavi. Sandiego rasikas were submerged in a RTP in Nalinakanthi. “Rere manasa gopalam” by Narayana theerthar and a darbari kannada thillana by Thanjavur S Kalyanaraman completed the weekend concert for Sanjose rasikas. As a mark of rememberance and paying homage to Lakshmi Shankar (a noted Hindustani classical vocalist and sister-in-law of Pandit Ravi Shankar), the concert included the song “Darshana dena” in Raag Nand Kedar composed by Lakshmi Shankar.


More from the artist:

What is your thinking of shifting gurus?

It is not advisable to shift until the guru recommends. Guru bhakti is essential. Guru seva is the first important thing. Earlier in olden days, there was only guru seva. Only by doing guru seva and observing Thotakacharya, Adishankara acquired all the knowledge. One should first be a sathguru. Guru’s blessings are always important.

What would you like to say about your disciples?

There are students learning from Chicago, Canada and so on. Recently Sai Nivedita and Sai Kiran, nicknamed “Sandiego Sai Sisters” performed their arangetram. Aparna kumar and Amritavarshini, Savita rajesh and Sowmya Ramesh, daughter of Mudikondan Sri.Ramesh.

What are your passions way from music?

Love gardening, reading and like to listen to a lot of spiritual discourses like bhagavatham. I try my hands on cooking. Whenever I see trails, I like to go for long walks and trekking.

Tip off – just from carnatic world:

Next concert at Baltimore,MD is focussed on Swati Thirunal compositions.

Concert for Tamil Isai Manram, Toronto is canceled.

Highlights of Isai Peroli Smt. Gayathri Venkatraghavan’s fall 2014 concerts.

It was a musical extravaganza in Bridgewater, NJ (Sep6) and Richmond, VA (Sep7). It was a longing 3 hours of non-stop soul touching musical experience for NJ & VA rasikas. As requested by Kalaimamani KN Shashikiran, the Kutcheri began with a GNB’s Ambal
varnam in Ranjani (Amboruha Padame) while Pahi Sripathe in Hamsadhvani by Swati Tirunal marked the beginning of the concert in Richmond, VA. The main highlight in both the concerts was the RTP’s. At Richmond, the RTP in Kharaharapriya, Sama &
Bilahari and Mamava Meenakshi (Dikshithar) in Varali also captured the attention of the audience. There was a virutham on Lord Muruga for the Richmond rasikas in
amruthavarshini and behag. As a special request from the NJ audience, Smt.Gayathri sang a rare Dikshitar’s composition in Suruti ragam. In VA, the curtains were brought down with a Vivadhi request.

Other songs that stormed Richmond,VA:

Dinamani Vamsa – Harikamboji

Sashi Vadana – Chandrajothi

Srinivasa Ninne – Anandabhairavi

Balakrishnan Patham – Dhanyasi

Sripathe Neepada – Naaga Swaraavali

More from the artist:

Usage of rare ragams in your kutcheri

I always have one rare ragam included in every Kutcheri either as an alapana or in any other form.

Ideal concert format for lay listeners

I go by Traditional method with 1 varnam, 1 Vinayaka song, 3 ragas for alapana & neraval in the first half then in the main piece, 1 major composition of atleast one of the Trinities or a RTP as a main piece. I always like to sings neravals.

Are your children into Music?

They have learnt Violin and are good listeners who are presently studying Law.

About your workshop in Sandiego,CA

Taught the students a rare Shyama Shastri composition in Janaranjani ragam and also the procedure to format and structure a Pallavi & elements of a Pallavi. Also taught them a simple Pallavi.

Anything you liked about the NJ/VA concerts?

People are passionate about music & they are good rasikas.

Tip off – just from Carnatic world

In the next concert @ Meenakshi temple,Houston, rasika’s can expect a composition by her Guru Acharya Choodamani Shri.A.Sundaresan.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Usha Ramachandran

An Interview with Isai Peroli Smt. Gayathri Venkatraghavan


“It was a relaxing Thursday evening that turned out to be one of the most memorable moment in my life. Being a celebrity who not only accepted a short notice appointment but was also kind enough to promptly return my call on time. Yes, I got to interact with Isai Peroli Smt. Gayathri Venkatraghavan on her upcoming concert at Bridgewater, NJ on September 6, 2014.”

Every concert of yours has something new. Do you have any special preparations for this concert?

Usually concerts abroad are longer than the ones performed in Chennai. People prefer to listen to long and detailed kutcheries which would go for 3 hours or so. There would definitely be compositions of trinity, as I always sing songs of trinity in every kutcheri. I would like to keep the list of songs as a surprise package.

Is your concert going to be thematic?

Not exactly.

There are few thematic programs like Tamil Isai Manram, Toronto and Swati Thirunal lined up in this tour.

Are you going to focus on a particular ragam?

I would like to keep this a surprise element for the rasikas.

Whose compositions do you sing more?

I always sing songs of trinity, in particular Shyama Shastry a lot. I also make sure I include Tamil compositions in my kutcheries.

Do you receive Neyar viruppam (special request) from your family?

My husband would like me to anchor the concert with Thyagaraja krithis. If I miss viruttham, my mom will be the first person to remind that. My family’s all time favorite are compositions on Lord Muruga.

Do have any sentiments before concerts?

Not much. I avoid black sarees for my concerts. Lavender remains my favorite color.

You always tickle the taste buds of your rasikas. What tickles your real taste buds?

I have a sweet tooth. I prefer non-spicy food. Chapathis before a concert keep me energetic and lively through out.

 Could you share any touching moments from your concert experience?

Yes, I could never forget this moment. It was a concert in a temple, near Tanjore district. I felt really light when a flower seller (poo kari) presented me with 5 yards(mozham) of flowers and said that she could visualize the presence of Ambal in front of her eyes.

Tip off – just from Carnatic world

Rasikas can eagerly await a Dikshitar’s composition on the main deity of the temple (Venkataramana swami).

As this is her first fall concert this year, expect the concert to begin it with an Ambal Varnam and a new Pallavi that we haven’t heard from her before.

Carnatic World wishes Gayathri Venkatraghavan a very successful tour.

Follow us for more post-concert experiences.

Usha Ramachandran

Concert Itinerary – Fall 2014 Tour

North America tour from September 1st to November 2, 2014
with Mysore Srikanth – violin and Tanjavur Murugaboopathi – mridangam.

Organization City State Date
CMANA Bridgewater NJ 6th Sep
Rasika Richmond Richmond VA 7th Sep
Classical Arts Society Houston TX 12th Sep
SIFA San Jose CA 13th Sep
IFAASD San Diego CA 14th Sep
SSVT Baltimore MD 20th Sep
CCMA Columbus OH 26th Sep
Hindu Temple Dayton OH 27th Sep
Tamil Isai Manram Toronto Canada 28th Sep
CMAI Indianapolis IN 3rd Oct
Sangeetha  St Louis MO 4th Oct
IMSOM  Minneapolis MN 5th Oct
Sri Ganesha Temple Nashville TN 10th Oct
CAMAGA Atlanta GA 11th Oct
 Hindu Temple of Southern Florida Ft Lauderdale FL 12th Oct
SICA Ottawa Canada 18th Oct
Bharati Kala Manram Toronto Canada 19th Oct
Ragamala Music Society Calgary Canada 24th Oct
SIMA  Los Angeles LA 25th Oct
Srutilaya Long Island NY 26th Oct
 Sruti  Philadelphia PA 1st Nov
CT Raga Hartford CT 2nd Nov

Published November 14th, 2014 by

“Ever wondered how playing an instrument will benefit your brain? We found this video interesting and informative.”

Published November 10th, 2014 by

Maximum Media, in association with the Cleveland Aradhana Committee, bring the most successful reality show for Carnatic music to the US for its 4th season.


Carnatic Music Idol: USA


Carnatic Music Idol USA is back for a fourth season in 2014! This program is a way for North American children to showcase their talent, take part in a fun, relaxed and friendly competition while having the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be featured on an international television program. All talent levels are welcome and every participant is given a chance to perform.

This season, in addition to groups, an instrumental category is also introduced. Please see the rules for more details.

The dates and locations for the preliminary and final rounds are:



November 1 Northeast Prelims (NY/NJ)
November 2 Eastern Prelims (DC)
November 8 Southern Prelims (Dallas)
November 9 West Coast Prelims (Bay Area)
November 15 Midwest Prelims (Chicago)
November 16 Finals (Chicago)

Take part in this great opportunity!

  • This competition is entirely different than the Indian version of Carnatic Music Idol
  • Students of all levels are welcome; Manodharmam performance is not required
  • The goal is to showcase the North American Carnatic music scene, including teachers, organizersand volunteers
  • This event is a wonderful way for families in India and abroad, as well as a global TV audience, to see to keep our cultural traditions alive.

Priceless Prizes!

The winners from the Senior Vocal and the Instrumental categories receive the following:

  • A chance to perform in the 2015 Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival, in a special slot
  • The opportunity to perform in Maximum Media’s Margazhi Maha Utsavam in December 2015

The panel of judges will comprise a group of popular star Carnatic musicians.

Application Process

Please look over the rules and regulations for the competition, and then get in touch with the regional organizers to apply.

For further details, please contact Gopi Sundaram ( or Radhika Balasubramaniam (

Southern Prelims

The preliminary round for the Southern region will be held on November 8, in Texas.

The event will be held at:

Conference Center, Collin College (Preston Ridge Campus)9700 Wade BoulevardFrisco, TX 75035 (map)

For more information on registration, event tickets, etc. please contact Vijayashree Venkataraman (

West Coast Prelims

The preliminary round for the West Coast region will be held on November 9, in the Bay Area.

The event will be held at:

Shirdi Sai Parivar (Sai Mandir)1221 California CircleMilpitas CA 95035 (map)

For more information on registration, event tickets, etc. please contact the organizers (

Midwest Prelims

The preliminary round for the Midwest region will be held on November 15, in Chicago.

The event will be hosted by iCarnatic, and will be held at:

The Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago10915 Lemont RoadLemont IL 60439

For more information on registration, event tickets, etc. please visit iCarnatic’s website for the Midwest prelims.


The Final Round for Carnatic Music Idol USA will be held on November 16, in Chicago.

The event will be held at:

The Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago10915 Lemont RoadLemont IL 60439

This event will feature the finalists selected from the preliminaries in each region, and will put them through elimination rounds, until there is only one left standing: The Carnatic Music Idol USA.

Rules and Regulations

Entry and Eligibility

  • All participants should be between the ages of 5 and 25 (inclusive) to participate.
  • The participant should be traditionally dressed, as and how she/he will appear for an Indian classical concert.
  • Preliminary round may be preceded by a screening round, depending on the number of entries received for the preliminary round. In such a case, the screening will take place the day before the preliminary round or a date announced by the local host organization.
  • The local host organization may charge an entry fee for participating in the preliminary round solely at their discretion. The entry fee, if any, is not refundable.

Preliminary Round

Junior and Senior (Vocal)

  • Juniors must have completed 5 years of age, and not yet completed 15 years.
  • Seniors must have completed 15 years of age, and not yet completed 25.
  • Participants should be prepared with 3 krithis in 3 different ragas to perform for the competition. The judges may select any part from any of the listed items for performance.
  • The participant’s proficiency in handling manodharmam will be an added advantage.
  • There will be no accompaniments provided for the preliminary level contests. Accompaniments will be provided only for the finals.

Melody Instruments

  • Instrumentalists must be between ages 5 and 25. They will not be divided by age into Juniors and Seniors.
  • Instrumentalists must bring their own instrument to the competition. We will not provide any instruments for participants.
  • The judges may test participants’ knowledge of the lyrics for the songs they are performing.
  • All other rules are as for Vocal participants.

Percussion Instruments

  • Percussionists must be between ages 5 and 25. They will not be divided by age into Juniors and Seniors.
  • They must be of a caliber to perform in concert as an accompanying artist.
  • Instrumentalists must bring their own instrument to the competition. We will not provide any instruments for participants.
  • Participants should be prepared with 3 different thalams to perform for the competition. The judges will select from the listed items to perform for the preliminary round.
  • Participants will perform solo during the prelims, and will be asked to accompany main artists during the finals.
  • Participants should be able to vocalize as konnakkol everything that they perform on their percussion instrument.

Groups (Vocal)

  • Groups should be composed of a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 6 participants, between the ages of 5 and 25.
  • The groups should provide 3 song choices for the prelims.
  • All three choices should be krithis — no varnams or geethams. No niraval or kalpana swarams. Alapana is allowed.
  • Performance time for groups: minimum 4 minutes.


  • The duration of every participant’s performance in front of the judges is solely the judge’s discretion.
  • The Judges’ decision will be final in all cases. No arguments, disputes, or conversation with the panel will be entertained.
  • The judges/organizers have the right to disqualify any participant on the grounds of misbehavior, violation of the rules, misconduct, disrespect to the judges, or not meeting the requirements of the competition.
  • If the selected participants fail to report to the next round, the opportunity will be given to the immediate wait-listed candidate chosen/reserved by the judges.


  • Participants will have to be selected during the preliminary round to go to the finals.
  • No one else, apart from the participant, can be on stage before, after, or during the performance.
  • The participant need not carry his/her own sruthi box / tambura. We will provide a tambura set to the requested sruthi.
  • The Grand Finale will be held in Chicago. The participants must be willing to travel to the preliminary contest centers and to Chicago to participate in the finals, as necessary, at their own expense.
  • The above listed rules are for the preliminary selections only. If selected for the finals, the rules will be slightly changed and will be intimated at the appropriate time.
  • The participant’s visibility on television during the telecast is solely at the discretion of Maximum Media. The participant, parent, or guru, will not have any claims about appearance, non-appearance, or duration of appearance whatsoever.
  • All the rules mentioned above shall apply uniformly across all centers in North America.
  • Should there be any changes to the rules, it will be communicated by the local host organization.
  • All legal disputes will be settled under Chennai jurisdiction.