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Prime Mover for Propagation of Carnatic Music in U.S.A

Guest : Sri. V.V.Sundaram

Sri V.V.Sundaram who has covered the whole world in great strides during his Administrative career, still could find time to propogate carnatic music abroad has consented to give an Interview to N.Subramanian editor of NaadhaBrahmam journal.

N. Subramanian : A midst your busy schedule, what influenced you to get so deeply involved in music?

V.V.Sundaram : Primarily I come from a musical minded family. Apart from that I never had any serious training in music, though I learnt mrudangam for a short time from Sri.Ramnad Raghavan, who was my guiding factor in the appreciation and understanding of music.

N. Subramanian : How would you compare the music of yesteryears to the music of today?

V.V.Sundaram : I am not competent enough to comment about the olden days but I am of the view that carnatic music has attained more sophistication today. New innovations and greater opportunities have caused a constructive progress in the field of carnatic music.

N. Subramanian : Do you think that the new talent is not given proper exposure?

V.V.Sundaram : No, real talent can never be suppressed. Though an average musician needs exposure, one cannot come up without talent. As per the absence of large number in the audience, it is not due to the over crowding of performances, because the same musician who draws a big crowd during December fails to do so during off - season. This is due to the fact that the December season witnesses the attendance of rasikas from several other places and countries. So I think that the December season has come to stay and should stay.

N. Subramanian : There are some organizations who conduct concerts specially for non resident Indians. What is your comment on this?

V.V.Sundaram : I think it is a welcome trend. Many musicians, who are born and bred in the U.S, need exposure and recognition and they are good enough to deserve such measures.

N. Subramanian : It is the general opinion that prestigious awards like Padmashree, etc., are not given to those who deserve most. What are your comments regarding this? Do you say that the machinery is stream - lined?

V.V.Sundaram : There are so many awards nowadays and there are occasions when some not-so-deserving artistes are selected for such awards. But that does not mean that giving awards does not serve any purpose. Artistes are encouraged that way. I would rather say that a great artiste is undoubtedly so whether he receives an award or not. After all, Rajaratnam Pillai or M.D.Ramanathan never received any award. Does that in any way undermine their glory! However, one should be happy when deserving artistes got awards.

N. Subramanian : You have been conducting Thyagaraja Aradhana in Cleveland(U.S.A) for 25 years now? What is the basis of your selection of artistes for the same?

V.V.Sundaram : People like us have to depend on the coordination of our helpers here like Dr. N. Ramani and Srimushnam V.RajaRao as we have our own business to attend to and have no time. Since they are in the field, they can spot talents easily.

N. Subramanian : Do you arrange for dance programmes also.?

V.V.Sundaram : We do cater for dance performances also, but it is not as easy as arranging music concerts as their needs are varied.

N. Subramanian : Thank you Sir, for giving me time in your busy schedule and for sharing your views with us.

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