It was a pleasant Sunday evening when the finalists of the 10th edition of the Times Thyagaraja Awards gathered to perform at Rasika Ranjani Sabha in front of the esteemed judges — Chinmaya Sisters - Uma & Radhika, Aruna Ranganathan, Bhushani Kalyanaraman and Geetha Raja. Even though the pandemic had turned this event into a no-audience show, finalists Aditi B Prahalad (nominated by Madhuradhwani), Archana G Upadhayay (nominated by Madhuradhwani), Niranjan DR (nominated by Sri Thiagaraja Fine Arts Academy), Sahana S (nominated by Narada Gana Sabha), Shrihari Bhat NH (nominated by Sri Thiagaraja Fine Arts Academy), P Akshaya Bharathi (nominated by Music Academy), Subhadra Sridharan (nominated by Karthick Fine Arts) and Sahana Prasanna (nominated by Sri Thiagaraja Fine Arts Academy) were as excited as ever to perform with zest and enthusiasm.
While one of the finalists, Sahana Prasanna, couldn’t give a live performance as she was in the US, she sent in her recording that was played during the finale. All the eight finalists gave their best, exploring one raga each. They were accompanied by Guru Raghavendra on mridangam and Ananthalakshmi Krishnaswamy on violin.
This time, too, the judges had a tough time selecting the top three finalists, but their unanimous choice for the winner was Aditi B Prahalad, who impressed the judges with her flawless performance. She walked away with a trophy, certificate and gift voucher. P Akshaya Bharathi was adjudged the first runner-up and Archana G Upadhayaya was given the second runner-up’s title. Both of them received certificates and vouchers.
Except for the final performance, the auditions were conducted virtually, this year. Uma says, “I think we owe it to technology for making this even a possibility. All the participants sent the videos and we assessed them based on their performances. The finals took place in a safe environment. The event turned out to be a success because of the team work put in by everyone.” She also added that the quality of participants was on the rise with each passing year. “As artistes, we want the art to grow. These youngsters deliver performances with such promise and professionalism,” Says Uma.