Margazhi Kutcheri Season 2019: Top artistes to perform at Narada Gana Sabha

Shivani Ramakrishnan
Akkarai Sisters: ‘Carnatic music is a spontaneous art, not something that can be rehearsed to perfection’

The Akkarai sisters will make an appearance in the sabha.

The Narada Gana Sabha is one among the top sabhas (music institutions) in Chennai, located in the busy Alwarpet locality.

READ | Margazhi Kutcheri Season 2019: List of top Sabhas and events schedule

Frequented by rasikas (culture enthusiasts) every Margazhi season, Narada Gana Sabha is especially sought after by amateur artistes as a platform to launch their career.

READ | Margazhi Kutcheri Season 2019: Top artistes to look out for

READ | Margazhi Kutcheri Season 2019: Everything you need to know

The sabha organises pre-festival concerts every season to encourage such artistes.

READ | Margazhi Kutcheri Season 2019: Narada Gana Sabha goes all out to ensure memorable Margazhi experience for rasikas

Here is a list of A-listers who will be performing at Narada Gana Sabha this year:

Dr. S Sowmya

Seasoned singer Dr. S Sowmya is a familiar face during the Margazhi season. Having given Margazhi performances since 1984, the Sangita Kalanidhi and Kalaimamani awardee performs across various sabhas in the city in the evenings during the season. The singer, who actively practises and promotes Tamizh Isai (classical and folk music of Tamil Nadu), is an expert in the Saraswati Veena, one of the oldest musical instruments.

Dr. S Sowmya will perform on December 14 at 4 pm in the main hall.

P Unnikrishnan

A familiar face during Margazhi concerts in Chennai, P Unnikrishnan has been a regular performer at the festival for years now. Known for experimenting with compositions, Unnikrishnan's concerts attract a large number of rasikas due to his mellifluous voice and unique style of singing. Besides Carnatic music, the singer has also lent his voice as a playback singer for movies and has rendered several hymns for devotional albums.

P Unnikrishnan will perform on December 15 at 4 pm in the main hall.

Sikkil C Gurucharan

Sikkil C Gurucharan is a force to reckon with among the younger generation of musicians as the singer's concerts draw a huge section of rasikas every year. Hailing from a musical family, the young singer is sought after during the Margazhi season, where he has been a regular performer for years. The All India Radio A-grade artiste, along with pianist Anil Srinivasan, has developed a unique style of music that combines Carnatic music with classical piano.

Sikkil C Gurucharan will perform on December 17 at 4 pm in the main hall.

Dr. K J Yesudas

Dr. Kattassery Joseph Yesudas is a talented musician whose name needs no introduction. A prolific A-lister, Yesudas is a sought-after singer in Carnatic music and devotional circles, besides having lent his vocal expertise as a playback singer for movies in several languages. The singer's performances transcend religion and age, with rasikas of all age groups thronging sabhas to catch a glimpse of his moving performances, where he weaves the concept of national integration in his compositions.

Dr. K J Yesudas will perform on December 19 at 6 pm in the main hall.

Sid Sriram

Sid Sriram is a music producer and songwriter whose career as a playback singer perhaps overshadows his prowess as a Carnatic singer. Having performed at the Margazhi season for years now, Sid Sriram's concerts often draw in a huge section of rasikas belonging to the younger generation. His concerts offer a blend of classical music with film music, as the singer croons a few of his tracks from movies towards the end of the Margazhi concerts.

Sid Sriram will will perform on December 20 at 7 pm in the main hall.

Trichur brothers

The Trichur brothers, Srikrishna Mohan and Ramkumar Mohan, are no strangers to the Margazhi season. Having travelled the world extensively for concerts for years, the brothers are experts in rendering harmonious laya (rhythm) while singing various compositions during concerts. The duo has developed a style of music that adheres to the traditions of yore and yet brings out their unique style.

The Trichur Brothers will perform on December 21 at 4 pm in the main hall.

Roja Kannan

A doyenne in the field of Bharatanatyam with a career that spans decades, Roja Kannan's dance recitals are sought after by rasikas every Margazhi season. Hailing from a musical family, her performances offer a harmonious blend of nritta (limb movement) and abhinaya (expressions) which are inherent to the Kalakshetra style of Bharatanatyam.

An A-grade artiste with Doordarshan, Roja Kannan has toured the world extensively for performances and lecture demonstrations during dance festivals and has collaborated with several artists over the years.

Roja Kannan will perform on December 21 at 7 pm in the main hall.

Ranjani and Gayatri

Think Margazhi and the names Ranjani and Gayatri leap to the mind. Any Margazhi season concert is incomplete without a performance by the dynamic duo, who have been performing for over 30 years now. Experts in both vocals and violin, the duo have a status in Carnatic music circles akin to that of rockstars. Their concerts are sought after for the rich blend of different languages included in their compositions.

Ranjani and Gayatri will perform on December 22 at 4 pm in the main hall.

Nithyasree Mahadevan

Hailing from a family of eminent musicians, music composer and singer Nithyasree Mahadevan has been a regular at the Margazhi season concerts for decades. Keeping up with the tradition of her grandparents, the Kalaimamani awardee often sings and popularises several compositions of Papanasam Sivan, besides giving several concerts centered around a theme.

Nithyasree Mahadevan will perform on December 24 at 4 pm in the main hall.

Abhishek Raghuram

Born into a family of musicians, Abhishek Raghuram is a versatile musician among the younger generation of singers with a standing of his own. Having performed during the Margazhi season for several years, the singer has created ripples in the music fraternity with expertise in both vocals and percussion instruments.

Abhishek Raghuram will perform on December 24 at 7 pm in the main hall.

Kunnakkudy M Balamuralikrishna

Hailing from a musical family, Kunnakudi M Balamuralikrishna has grown into a prominent artiste in the Carnatic music circle over the years. Popular among rasikas, the young singer is sought after for his expertise in rendering korvais (rhythmic compositions) while singing compositions in concert performances.

Kunnakudy M Balamuralikrishna will perform on December 25 at 4 pm in the main hall.

Shobana

Hailing from a family of eminent musicians and actors, danseuse Shobana is no stranger to the Margazhi season. Having given dance recitals around the world for years, the Padma Shri awardee puts up several dance recitals, both solo and dance dramas, with students from her dance school every year. Over the years, Shobana has collaborated with eminent musicians and dancers to put up thematic dance recitals around the world.

Shobana will perform on December 25 at 7 pm in the main hall.

Sanjay Subrahmanyan

Another versatile singer among the younger generation of musicians, Sanjay Subrahmanyan has carved a niche for himself in the world of Carnatic music. The Sangita Kalanidhi recipient has developed a style of Carnatic music that combines tradition with modernity, thus giving rise to a unique genre of classical music that appeals to rasikas of all age groups.

Sanjay Subrahmanyan will perform on December 26 at 4 pm in the main hall.

The Dhananjayans

Doyens in the field of Bharatanatyam, the Dhananjayans, V P Dhananjayan and Shanta Dhananjayan, are one of the most accomplished and senior artistes who take to the stage every Margazhi season. Proponents of the Kalakshetra style of Bharatanatyam, the Padma Bhushan and Kalaimamani awardees are experts in Bharatanatyam, Kathakali and Carnatic music. With careers that span several decades, the duo put up several recitals, as a duo and with students from their dance school every year.

Bharatakalanjali, the school of the Dhananjayans will perform on December 27 at 7 pm in the main hall.

Sudha Ragunathan

A musician who has regularly performed during the Margazhi season since 1990, Sudha Ragunathan is a versatile singer whose performances are sought after by rasikas. A recipient of the Kalaimamani award, Sangita Kalanidhi, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan in the past, Sudha Ragunathan's power-packed performances draw an ever-increasing crowd to her performances every Margazhi.

Sudha Ragunathan will perform on December 28 at 4 pm in the main hall.

Leela Samson

A proponent of the Kalakshetra style of Bharatanatyam, choreographer and danseuse Leela Samson is a celebrated Bharatanatyam dancer who performs during the Margazhi season every year. Appreciated by rasikas and critics for her flair in nritta (limb movement) and abhinaya (expressions), the dancer often choreographs several innovative dance pieces for recitals around the world.

Having toured the world extensively for recitals, both solo and with her dance company, Spanda, Leela Samson interprets the technicalities and the nuances of the art form which helps her churn out powerful and meaningful performances.

Leela Samson will perform on December 29 at 7 pm in the main hall.

Bombay Jayashri Ramnath

A seasoned singer who was born into a musical family, Bombay Jayashri is a well-known name in both Carnatic music and Hindustani music circles. Having been a regular performer during the Margazhi season for years now, the singer's concerts are often houseful. Her power-packed rendition of compositions often leave rasikas asking for encore performances.

Bombay Jayashri Ramnath will will perform on December 30 at 4 pm in the main hall.

Akkarai Sisters

The Akkarai Sisters, S Subhalakshmi and S Sornalatha, are well-known musicians who are famous for their expertise in both vocals and the violin. The talented duo,  born into a musical lineage, are regular performers during the Margazhi season. Besides giving duet performances, the sisters also accompany other musicians as violinists for their concerts throughout the year.

READ | Akkarai Sisters: ‘Carnatic music is a spontaneous art, not something that can be rehearsed to perfection’

The Akkarai sisters will will perform on December 30 at 7 pm in the main hall.

Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam

No Margazhi dance recital is complete without a performance by Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam, a doyenne in Bharatanatyam. A proponent of the Vazhuvoor style of Bharatanatyam, the seasoned dancer also composes the music for her dance productions and lends her voice as the singer for recitals by students from her dance school.

The Padma Shri and Kalaimamani awardee has toured the world extensively for dance recitals, both solo and as a part of her dance school, Nrithyodaya, where she teaches the various aspects of Bharatanatyam which are important for a performing artiste.

Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam will perform on January 1 at 7 pm in the main hall.