Houston pays homage to violin virtuoso Lalgudi Jayaraman
- Thara Narasimhan
e-mail: tara3102@gmail.com

May 10, 2014

Guru bhakti was epitomized by paying homage to one of the greatest musicians of all times, Indian Carnatic violinist and music composer Lalgudi G Jayaraman by Houston Youth Music Association USA. Held at Anjali Center of Performing Arts, ‘Lalgudi Samarpanam’ was an event organized in honoring the memory of the violin maestro. A year ago the legend shuffled his mortal coil on 22nd April 2013.

A group of vocalists and violinists who have directly learnt music from the legend presented a marvelous ensemble of melodious music. The music and dance was presented by eminent artists that included Vittal Ramamurthy, Poovalur Srij, Dr. Rathna Kumar and Rajarajeshwary Bhat. At the very outset the forty students of Krishna Gana Sudha Academy trained by Rajarajeswary Bhat performed in a group and then the direct disciple’s presentation followed next. Soon after, Vittal Ramamurthy read a message of good wishes for the event sent by the children of Lalgudi Jayaraman- Lalgudi GJR Krishnan and Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi. Then Vittal shared his own experiences with his guru from the time he started to learn violin from “Lalgudi Sir.” He referred to the innumerable qualities of his guru, his wit, smartness, genuine helping nature and simplistic virtues that were outstanding. Lalgudi varnams, krithi and thillana followed in succession presented by various groups.

Rathna Kumar

Jayaraman’s compositions are a rage for Bharatanatyam exponents. Rathna Kumar’s guru K. J. Sarasa once heard Lalgudi’s compositions and wanted to present the dance in the presence of the virtuoso. Rathna had learnt the varnam from her guru and performed the dance in the presence of Lalgudi Jayaraman himself, when she was very young. In her reverential tribute and anjali, Rathna Kumar presented the varnam with musical rendition by Kruthi Bhat. The dance was interspersed with a video talk by the legendary artist himself as to the beauty and the meaning of the composition.

The Navaragamalika varnam “Angayarkanni” on the nine forms of Devi is a magnum opus of the composer, rich in meaning and melody. Samyuktha Hari presented a thillana that was remarkable. Gowri Ramnarayan visiting from India, paid tribute to the legend with remarks about the variance in his compositions but not too much away from the traditional characteristics. Uma Ranganathan, the emcee of the evening, presented the program well. Amrita Murali from India joined the violin group as a guest artist who belongs to the Lalgudi style or bani in vernacular reference.

BN Chinmayee, Thanmayee Krishnamurthy, Keerthana Bhat, Kruthi Bhat and Rajarajeshwary Bhat presented in unison, vocal music to the enjoyment of all. The violinists Sujatha Kidambi, Subha Comandur, Vikram Murali, Neha Krishnamachary, Sharada Krishnan, Pavani Anupindi and Vittal Ramamurthy captivated all with their harmonious tribute and dedication to their guru. His music lives on as he touched many lives with his music, wisdom, care and compassion for all.