Amidst all the chaos in last decade surrounding Bengaluru’s infrastructural problems and political instability,certain aspects of the city widen their influence as always. One amongst these is the ever growing "art of carnatic music".
Though Chennai with its innumerable sabhas and cultural heartlands is considered to be the melting pot of carnatic music, Bengaluru is slowly but surely made its presence felt this sphere as well. Music fever seems to be soaring in this burgeoning metropolis like never before. True to its sobriquet of cosmopolitan city which embraces anything that comes its way, carnatic music too has found its place in the cultural roadmap of the city.
Any music enthusiast in the city would prefer not to miss the reverberations at the Chowdiah Memorial Hall in all its splendour. Every concert here is enriched with its acoustically superior ambience.The structural design of this auditorium makes it unique and very appealing. Built to resemble the shape of a violin in the memory and reverance of Shri T Chowdiah, a legendary violinist from the state of Mysore. Just a stone’s throw away from the lush lawns of the Sankey Tank, it is a feast for both the eyes and the ears.
If north Bangalore finds its attraction here, south and central parts are not left behind either. The old and nostalgic music concerts of Seshadripuram and Chamarajpet Ram Seva Mandalis are other well known hot spots of carnatic music. These are annual festivals held in the month of April/May during Rama Navami where crowds throng to no end to listen to the virtuosos.
Both these events have crossed their 50 year mark and have found their place in the annals of Bengaluru’s music tradition. The former is held at the Seshadripuram college and the latter at Fort High School Grounds, both located in the central regions of city making them easily accessible. Stalwarts like Dr.Balamurali Krishna, Pandit Bismillah Khan, M S Subbalakshmi have performed here with regularity.
While the traditional hotspots continue to impress, upcoming venues like Indiranagar Sangeet Sabha, Ananya at Malleshwaram have gained their share too. All in all,Bengaluru’s cultural ethos never seems to be short of encouragement. Long Live the spirit of Bengaluru!
Great article Girish! Alas, the Mecca of Carnatic music still remains Chennai…we have to propogate music still further in Bangalore.