Carnatic Vocal Concert (In-person event)

Carnatic Vocal Concert (In-person event)

By Vidushi Krithika Natarajan (student of Ranjani and Gayatri)

Saturday, May 21, 2022 | 4:30 PM

Fugett Middle School Auditorium

500 Ellis Lane
West Chester, PA 19380

About This Event

Sruti is happy to present a vocal concert by Vidushi Krithika Natarajan (student of Ranjani and Gayatri) accompanied by Rajeev Mukundan on violin and Vinod Seetharaman on Mridangam.

Krithika Natarajan (Vocal)

Krithika Natarajan had her initial training under Dr. Manjula Sriram and later under Sri Lalgudi G.Jayaraman. She is currently under the tutelage of Smt.Ranjani and Smt.Gayatri. She is an A grade artist on the All India Radio, Chennai and has performed in many prestigious venues in India and abroad.She has numerous accolades to her credit and has been featured in several TV channels and in newspapers. In addition to being a performing vocalist, she trains many students across the globe. Academically she is an MBA graduate, currently pursuing music full time.

Rajeev Mukundan (Violin)

Rajeev Mukundan began his violin lessons with Shri N.Govindarajan at a very young age. He is currently receiving advanced training from Sangeetha Kalanidhi A.Kanyakumari for over a decade. He is an ‘A’-grade artist on the All India Radio. He has received numerous awards from prestigious organizations and has travelled extensively on concerts, both in India and abroad.

He has given many violin duet concerts with his Guru A.Kanyakumari, and has also accompanied senior artistes. He has been a part of many unique jugalbandis and musical collaborations.

Vinod Seetharaman (Mridangam)

Vinod Seetharaman is among the most accomplished and sought after first generation Carnatic percussionists in the United States. His training in Mridangam started at the age of seven from Shri. Ardhanareeswaran, and he continues his advanced training from Bangalore Shri. Arjun Kumar and Shri. Umayalpuram Sivaraman.

The purity and sophistication of Vinod’s mridangam training has enabled him to accompany four generations of Carnatic musicians including Dr. M Balamuralikrishna, T N Seshagopalan, Dr. N Ramani, TM Krishna, Bombay Jayashri, Chitravina Ravikiran, Neyveli Santhanagopalan, Abhishek Raghuram.

Vinod is passionate about keeping up the purity of his traditional legacy even in collaborative ventures. He has composed and arranged the rhythm for several percussion ensembles. He is a popular teacher, and his students are regular features in music festivals and competitions. His vision is to work with a variety of musicians and propagate Indian percussion to diverse audiences across the globe.

Krithika Natarajan
Rajeev Mukundan (Violin)
Vinod Seetharaman (Mridangam)

Concert Review

An evening at SRUTI with Krithika Natarajan

By Mira Srikanth

On a bright sunny evening, we were looking forward to be drenched in the musical experience by the young and prominent vocalist Smt. Krithika Natarajan. She was accompanied by her life partner and seasoned artist Sri. Rajeev Mukundhan on the violin, as well as yet another accomplished artist Sri. Vinod Seetharaman on the mridangam and Rasika Sivakumar on the tambura. The concert was held at Fugett Middle School in West Chester, PA. 

Krithika started the concert with a well-known Adi tala varnam, “Intha modi” in the ragam Saaranga by Thiruvorriyur Thyagayyar. After the soothing Saaranga, she sang the Dikshitar krithi ‘Gajananayutham” in the ragam Chakravaham and completed the krithi with a small round of madhyamakala kalpanaswaras. 

Next Krithika chose to do a short and beautiful raga alapana in the ragam Nalinakanthi, a janya from Sarasangi, which is the 27th melakartha ragam. Rajeev’s elegant and masterful violin brought out even more of the ragam’s beauty. The alapana accompanied GNB’s “Nee Padhame Gathi” in Nalinakanthi, and she completed with some interesting swara patterns in the kalpanaswaram. 

The next piece was “Saranam Raghurama” in the ragam Asaveri composed by Arunachalakavirayar. As an introduction to the piece, Krithika narrated a brief story about the lyrics. Lord Varuna (Rain God) was seeking apologies to Lord Rama. Since he was busy in solving a dispute between the fishes, he couldn’t come immediately when Lord Rama called him to leave way to cross the ocean on the way to Sri Lanka in search of Mother Sita. This is song is part of the Ramanatakam series by Arunachalakavirayar. That was a beautiful composition, rendered by Krithika with utmost perfection, and we all were submerged deep into this chauka kaala krithi. “Marugelara,” yet another popular krithi on Lord Rama by Sri Thyagarajar, was the next krithi before Krithika moved on to the main piece of the concert. 

Varali–A melody that reminds one of a “bee’s humming.” Krithika started the raga alapana in this ragam which Rajeev followed so gracefully and thoroughly, making the audience feel complete satisfaction. Kritihika selected the song “Eti Janmamidi”, one of Thyagarajar’s precious gems. Though the krithi has four charanams, she chose to sing the fourth one which has the composer’s signature, and the neraval was performed at “Sagara shayanuni.” An excellent round of kalpanaswaram was followed in different speeds. Again, Rajeev and Vinod beautifully supported the swara patterns which was much appreciated by the audience. Vinod’s thani was exhilarating and added a beautiful shine to the main piece. 

The next piece, “Vaanchathonuna” in the ragam Karnaranjani was so emotive. It was a filler before the RTP 

(Ragam Tanam Pallavi) in the ragam Mohanakalyani set to misra jathi Triputa talam (Dwi nadai) with the poorvankam in tisram and uthrankam in kandam. The pallavi of choice was “Ramanai raghuveeranai nidhamum nee ninai mohana kalyana sita,” which was reminiscent of Krithika’s current gurus Ranjani & Gayathri’s concert in 2019 for Sruti, in which they had also chosen this pallavi. The pallavi and the kalpanaswarams were rendered so beautifully by Krithika and she so clearly and cleverly did grahabedham, blending into Abheri and slowly moving to Sindhubhairavi. It was very commendable and showed her eminent proficiency in this Divine art. Vinod then played a short and crisp thani with such complex talam, which was a truly mesmerizing experience for all of us. 

“Theruvadheppo” in the ragam Kamas, the Surdas bhajan “Gopigopalabala” in the ragam Gamanashrama, and “Sharade karunanidhe” in the ragam Hamir Kalyani were some thukkadas she sang before she concluded the concert with Lalgudi’s Sindhubhairavi thillana and mangalam. 

It was such a memorable and enjoyable concert where all the three artists excelled in their respective ways, giving the audience a blissful experience and complete satisfaction. 

 Mira is a passionate, devoted music lover and teacher.