Vidushi T. Rukmini Honoured at Chennai Fine Arts’ inaugural function
The sixteenth annual music festival of Chennai Fine Arts was inaugurated on 21st December at Srinivasa Sastri Hall in Luz. Smt. T. Rukmini, was conferred the title” Dig Vijaya Nada Vani” and presented the Gotuvadyam Narayana Iyengar Award for excellence comprising Rupees one lakh cash, a gold medal and citation. Composer and music enthusiast Spencer Venugopal, felicitated the awardee. With a quote from Kamba Ramayana, he said that the position of an accompanying artist was like that of the shadow of an eagle, which has no freedom of its own, and will be in various challenging situations often. He also gave the example from Kalidasa’s verses as to how a piece of rock becomes a beautiful sculpture after the unnecessary stone is chiseled out. Similarly, music stands out when unnecessary prayogas are avoided. He also had words of praise for the organizers, who gave importance to music, senior musicians and rare musical instruments.
Shri. K. Vaidyanthan of Dinamani, inaugurated the festival. He stressed the importance of music education in schools and taking music to the next generation to ensure a stress free life. He praised the awardee, recalling a few concerts of her from the past, which remained etched in his memory. He also lauded Chennai Fine Arts for giving Rupees one lakh cash and a gold medal.
Smt. T Rukmini took to carnatic music at a very tender age with encouragement from her family. Vidwan RR Keshavamoorthy was her first guru and she later on learnt under the violin maestro Lalgudi G Jayaraman and the doyen Semmangudi Dr Srinivasa Iyer. Her earliest concert was at the Town Hall in Bangalore, where she played violin for the great flute vidwan, Mali. The concert was a grand success and there was no looking back after that. Smt. Rukmini has provided violin support to legends of yesteryears like Chembai, Semmangudi, MDR, Dr S Ramanathan, Veena Balachander, DK Pattammal, ML Vasanthakumari, MS Subbulakshmi, S Kalyanaraman and so on. She has also provided support to various instruments like Flute, Nagasvaram, Clarinet, Mandolin, Saxophone, Veena, Chitravina and so on in a glittering career spanning over 65 years. Smt. Rukmini is a top grade violinist and A grade vocalist of AIR and Doordarshan. She has set to tune many of Saint Purandaradasa’s compositions, Andal’s Tiruppavai and Bharatiyar’s songs. She has performed in various countries around the world. She has also trained a number of students who are performers and teachers. Smt. Rukmini has to her credit many awards like the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Kalaimamani, Sangita Kala Acharya, Tantri Vilas, Vani Kala Sudhakara and Sangita Choodamani, to mention a few. Smt. Rukmini has also served as the vice president of the Tyagaraja Vidwath Samajam in Mylapore for about 6 years.
Smt. Rukmini in her acceptance speech, thanked Chennai Fine Arts and all the other artists and rasikas who encouraged her. She also recalled her association with Dr M Balamuralikrishna, in whose memory the festival was dedicated. Earlier the function began with an invocation by Vidushi Smt. Prarthana Sai Narasimhan. Founder of Chennai Fine Arts, P N Muralidharan welcomed the audience and thanked the ministry of Culture, Government of India, for supporting CFA over the years. Chitravina Narasimhan, Haridwaramangalam Dr A K Palanivel, Dr Nirmala Sundararajan, Allam Durgaprasad and many other musicians were present ..
The inaugural function was followed by the vocal concert of O.S. Arun. He began with a varnam of Dr M Balamuralikrishna in Gambhira Nattai. Mithri bhagyame in Kharaharapriya of Tyagaraja was the main song. He also sang an abhang on audience request. The concert marked the bright beginning of the festival.