M.S. Subbulakshmi birth centenary celebrations launched

Mumbai, Sep 14 (IANS) Maharashtra Governor C. V. Rao launched the birth centenary celebrations of legendary vocalist and classical singer M.S. Subbulakshmi at a function here late on Sunday night.

The Shanmukhananda Fine Arts & Sangeetha Sabha Preident V. Shankar said it has also set up a ‘Sri Shanmukhananda Bharat Ratna M. S. Subbulakshmi Sangeetha Pracharya Award’ to honour outstanding music teachers from across the country.

The Shanmukhananda Sabha has organised a four-day music festival in Subbulakshmi’s memory which will end here on Wednesday, said a Sabha coordinator, K. A. Vishwanathan.

To mark the launch of the celebrations, governor Rao felicitated Radha Viswanathan, the 80-year old daughter of the late Subbulakshmi and conferred her with the first Pracharya Award instituted in her mothers’ name.

Radha Viswanathan has been an eminent singer and dancer. Radha accompanied her illustrious mother during her entire career, said K. A. Vishwanathan.

The Sabha has been giving M. S. Subbulakshmi music scholarships to 28 promising students which has now been enhanced to 50 students per year.

Each student will get Rs. 100,000 for three years, as part of the centenary celebrations.

M. S. Subbulakshmi was born on September 16, 1916, at Madurai in the then Madras presidency in a family of artistes, musicians, singers and dancers, and started learning classical music in a young age.

She released her first music recording in 1926 at the age of 10 and gave first public performance in 1927 at the Rockfort temple in Tiruchirapalli.

Later, she moved to Madras where she acted in movies and pursued her vocal music career, giving independent concerts at the age of 17 and travelled to many countries for performances, including the UN in 1966.

Among the national and international awards conferred on M. S. Subbulakshmi include the Bharat Ratna, India’s top civilian award (1998), the Ramon Magsaysay Award (1974) and the Indira Gandhi Award for National Integration (1990).

After a long and glorious career spanning almost eight decades, she died in December 2004 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

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