Every year, in February a small group of Carnatic music rasikas in the town of Mayiladuthurai in Tamil Nadu celebrate the great music composer Gopalakrishna Bharati.
His greatest and hugely popular musical work is 'Nandanar Charitram'.
Bharati, born in the Nagapattinam area spent most of his life in Mayavaram, now called Mayiladuthurai. The annual Gopalakrishna Bharathi music festival celebrates this composer's music through music and dance concerts held across two evenings.
The recent festival for 2020 was held on Feb.22 and 23 at Sri Medha Dakshinamurthy Temple.
Injikkudi Ganesan performed the magaswaram on Day One followed by concerts by Brindha Manickavasagan and Saketharaman and dance by Divya Venugopal.
On Day Two, there were musical discourses by C G Sundar Deekshitar and by Kalyanapuram Aravind Soundararajan, music concert by the Akkarai Sisters and a Bharatanatyam concert by sisters Prabha and Priya Dixit.
Said vocalist Brindha Manickavasagan who sang at this festival, "The two-day festival featured several compositions of Gopalakrishna Bharati in nagasvaram, vocal and in Bharatanatyam performances. The stage was set inside a ‘pandal’ at the Medha Dakshinamurthi Temple (also known as Vadaanyeshvarar/ Vallalar Temple) in Mayiladuthurai. The concerts were an immersive experience of the creations of Gopalakrishna Bharati in the serene temple atmosphere. Some compositions from Gopalakrishna Bharathi’s ‘Nandanar Charittiram’ were also presented."
Brinda notes that this festival is organised by a group of dedicated co-ordinators including Deccan N. K. Murthy, J. Ramaswamy, Malini Sriram, Murali Shastrigal, Kunnakudi M. Balamuralikrishna and Hanumantapuram J. Bhuvaraghan.
"The tasty food, the warm hospitality and the welcoming people of Mayiladuthurai made this an experience I will forever cherish," adds Brindha.