Profiles of practising artistes - G

GANESH AND KUMARESH.............(b.1965 & 1967)
Ganesh and Kumaresh play on their own and are not shadows of others. Both are commerce graduates. They hail from 'Valadi' (Tirucharapalli district) but were born at Kanpur in a musical family. Had their training under their father, T.S.Rajagopalan, AIR artiste (violin) and an insurance officer. The boys took to violin when the instrument was taller than their heights. Their first public appearance was in 1972 at the All India Radio pavilion of ASIA'72 at the Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. The young duo were popular and widely covered and came up for special praise for their performances by the media at the different cities. Quite soon, they were at the top.

The violinists present remarkable artistry and skill. Excellent understanding between brothers, deep knowledge of raga and swarams and a romantic impetuosity and brilliance coupled with tempo and grip are special features of the charming duo. They start the concerts with a will to satisfy and succeed and they achieve both. Subtle grace and artifices come out in quick and easy waves with irresistible energy.
Honours :
Nada Yuvaraja by Shanti Arts Academy
Sangita Saragnya by Malleswaram (Bangalore)
Sarasa Gana Praveena by Sangita Sabha
Sunada Shiromani by Sri Parthasarathy Sabha
Violin Chakravarthi & Ganamani by Masi Peruvizha Kuzhu, Valangaiman
Appointed as State Artistes for Tamilnadu in 1984.
They had the pleasure of giving a concert to honour the Indian Cosmonauts Rakesh Sharma and Malhotra. The duo have certainly a glorious future ahead.

E.GAYATHRI - VEENA ARTISTE.............(b. November 11, 1959)
A child prodigy, E.Gayathri was born at Chennai of Aswathama, Telugu film Music Director and G.Kamala, a staff artiste AIR, Chennai. The family hails from Andhra Pradesh. The parents gave her adequate and specialised training and Gayathri entered the concert platform with dynamism. At the age of nine, she performed before the Kanchi Paramacharyal (Senior Sankaracharya) and he blessed her placing a sandalwood crown which she preserves with care. Can sing western pop, play guitar and write fiction in Telugu. In 1969 itself, she had won the first prize in music-veena competition held by the Sangeet Natak Academy and in 1970, she received the award for 'Child Prodigy' at the hands of Prof. P.Sambamurthy, eminent musician, musicologist and teacher. At the age of twelve (in 1971), AIR admitted her to 'A' grade without audition. It is no mean tribute to her knowledge, training and merits. She has keen grip on veena craftsmanship and expressive play. She had specialised advanced training under Sangita Kalanidhi T.M.Tyagarajan. She is one of the most popular artistes in veena now and has maintained clarity, tradition, artistry and appeal. Her touch is soft and the veena play sound and pleasing.
Titles :
Veena Gana Vinodhini, Veena Vani, Veena Bharathi, Amutha Geetham, Veena Selvi, Mahati Ragni, Nadha Sudharnava, Veena Gana Visarada, Veena Saraswathi, Yazh Isai Selvi, Kalaimamani (TN EIN Mandram).

T.V.Gopalakrishnan comes from a musical family and was born at Tirupunithurai. His father T.G.Viswanatha Bhagavathar was a musician to Cochin Royalty and Professor of Music, S.K.V.College, Trichur. A disciple of Palghat Anantarama Bhagavathar and a versatile vocalist and instrumentalist, he shaped his son in his impressible years to flower into a top artiste.

At the age of four, Gopalakrishnan would play on mridangam and at the age of nine, he had accompanied the renowned Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar on mridangam. At the age of six, he had sufficient proficiency in the art and ability to make his debut at the Cochin Palace before Lord and Lady Linlithgow. Since 1949, he has been giving hundreds of concerts - vocal or instrumental - on the AIR, in sabhas and elsewhere. A Bachelor of Commerce, he entered the office of the Accountant General but music established its sway over him so completely that he resigned his job and aligned himself with music true to the family legacy to give expression to his own innate talents. Has undergone training in music therapy and attended workshops, etc., at San Francisco in 1985.

He takes the credit for being the first vocalist who performed with equal felicity both in Carnatic and Hindustani classical music. His first Hindustani concert was in 1969 at the Music Academy, Chennai. He is also the first artiste who gives successful concerts as a vocalist, violinist and on mridangam besides mastery in Hindustani system of music. He has mastered concert techniques and could satisfy the pure classicist and the modernist. He has excellent rapport with the musicians and the public. He has brought a rich crop of disciples to prominence like K.J.Yesudoss, Illayaraja, Rajkumar Bharati, etc. besides a number of others from abroad.
Compositions :
Varnams, Kritis, etc.
Titles :
Sangita Laya Samrat
Gana Kala Bharati
Sangita Vidya Ratna
Kerala State Award, etc

VAIKOM R. GOPALAKRISHNAN - GHATAM ARTISTE.............(b. August 2, 1954)
Born of R.Ramaswami Ayyar, Mridangist, he had his initial training with his father and then under K.R.Chandramouli. He made his debut performance at the age of eight. 'A' Grade artiste with All India Radio, Gopalakrishnan provides effective ghatam support at concerts of prominent musicians. With diminishing numbers of Kanjira artistes, ghatam is taking the conspicuous role of upa vadya at concerts increasingly. Gopalakrihsnan is among the top ghatam artistes now.

Born on 6th December 1950. He is stated to be the only saxophonist in Carnatic music. Gopalnath hails from a Nagaswara family from Mangalore. Known for his lyrical music onsaxophone, his proficiency enabled him to participate in the Jazz India Music Festival and the International Music Festival in Czechoslovakia. He has enthralled many audiences both in India and abroad with his enchanting play and lovely rendering of krithis.

Kadri Gopalnath has received awards from Karnatak Music Association of U.S.A. & Canada in 1987, Madras Music Academy in 1987, Cervatino International Music Festival at Mexico in 1988, Music Halle Festival Blois Paris in 1989, Banlines Bleuses Festival at paris in 1990, U.K.University Circuit in 1990, etc.

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