Bala Bhavam Concert

Bala Bhavam Concert

By Sruthi Ramesh

Saturday, May 20, 2023 | 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Fugett Middle School Auditorium

500 Ellis Lane
West Chester, PA 19380

About This Event

Sruthi Ramesh, a junior at UMBC studying Biology, has been receiving advanced training from Smt.Kiranavali Vidyashankar since 2013.  She has won several accolades in various venues in US. She has performed several concerts in US, Canada, and India during the Marghazi season.

Vaibhav Sourirajan has been learning mridangam for the past 10 years under Shri P.K. Swaminathan and has received extensive training from Padma Vibhushan Dr. Umayalapuram K. Sivaraman in India. He has accompanied artists from around the United States, Canada, and India. Vaibhav is currently a rising junior at Columbia University pursuing a degree in Computer Science.

Vishal Sowmyan is a sophomore at Emory University. He has been learning violin for the past 12 years and is currently under the tutelage of Padmashri  Sangeetha kalanidhi Guru A Kanyakumari. Vishal has won several prizes in Carnatic music competitions and regularly performs concerts in the tri state area, and other centers including the renowned Carnegie Hall in New York, Cleveland Aradhana and the San Diego youth festival. He is the recipient of the junior musician of the year award for winning the advanced category instituted by the Carnatic Music Association of North America (CMANA).Vishal has played in prestigious sabhas in India during the December Music Festival including Narada Gana Sabha and Vani Mahal. He regularly accompanies visiting artists from India.

Concert Review

Shruthi Ramesh Bala Bhavam Concert Review

By Rasika Sivakumar

On Saturday, May 20th, 2023 at Fugett Middle School, Sruthi Ramesh, a student of Smt. Kiranavali Vidyashankar, gave a concert for Sruti’s Bala Bhavam series with a flavorful selection of compositions. She was accompanied by Vishaal Sowmyan on the violin and Vaibhav Sowrirajan on the mridangam.

Sruthi commenced her performance with a scintillating invocation of Shree MahAgaNapathy ravathumAm in gowLa rAgam set to Adhi thALam, a composition of one of the renowned Musical Trinity: Saint MuddhuswAmi DhIkshithar. This song is one of the traditional starters for the kamalAmbA navAvarNa krithis rendition. In strict adherence to her paddathi, Shruthi repeated every sangathi twice with utmost sincerity, a good habit she continued throughout her concert.

A crisp AlApanA followed, highlighting jeeva phrases of the 64th mElakarthA rAgam, vAchaspathi. During his solo, Vishaal complemented the performance by ending his AlApanA with the phrasing disguised as the start of ParAthparA. This popular krithi is set to dhEshAdhi thAlam and is a composition of the Shri PApanAsam Shivan, often referred to as the Thamizh ThyAgaiyya. Despite the peppy kAlapramAnam, Shruthi and her team maintained the tempo very well. Nereval and kalpanA swarams were rendered at the starting line of the charanam: ‘ari ayanum kANA ariya jOthi’. Creative neraval was executed and Shruthi concluded the krithi with a crisp kuraippu followed by a well-structured kOrvai.

To contrast the vibrance of shringAra rasA of vAchaspathi, Shruthi presented ThyAgarAja yOga vaibhavam, a unique composition of DhIkshithar in the rAgA Anandhabhairavi set to a sedate thisra Ekam (2 kalai), featuring the gOppuccha and shrOthOvAha yathis in lyrical measure. Accompaniment was soothing and gelled along well with the mood of the krithi. 

The main piece of Shruthi’s concert was in madhyamAvathi rAgA– venkatEsha ninnu– a rare composition of another member of the Musical Trinity and arguably the most celebrated: Saint ThyAgarAjA. Shruthi explained that this song was one of only two songs composed by the saint on Lord VenkatEshwarA, the latter being tharatheeyagarAdhA. In the AlApanAs of both Shruthi and Vishaal, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful arpeggios that followed the basic major chord 1-3-5 interval of Western music. Intricate kannakus were weaved at the pallavi line (thakita eduppu). The thani by Vaibhav showcased a brief but brisk kaNda nadai often found in the playing of mridangam maestro Sangeetha KalAnidhi UmayAlapuram ShivarAman.

After the main piece, Shruthi and her team performed lilting Chelimini in rAgam yamunAkalyAni. At some parts, it resembled maithreem bhajatha. Without ado, Shruthi concluded the concert with the renowned and auspicious thyAgarAjA mangaLam.

The concert was overall excellent and was executed with the same level of energy all through. These youngsters have amazing talent and a bright future in the field of Carnatic music.

Rasika Sivakumar is a rising high school sophomore and a member of the SRUTI Youth Group. She is an avid student of Carnatic music and a disciple of Sangeetha KalAnidhi Neyveli Sri R. SanthAnagopAlan.