To felicitate, celebrate and perform a concert in the presence of the composer himself is one of the rarest pleasures that a musician can experience and that came true for Dr. Sunder and his ensemble when they performed Thanjavur Sankara Iyer’s compositions in his presence on the 1st of September in the Priory Conference Centre. .
Dr. Sunder as the Convener of Music Forum took the initiative in organizing this unique program at Sri Jayendra to honour the living legend. Top ranking musicians, Dr. Sunder, Sri. Sriram Parasuram, Sri. Chitravina Ravikiran, Sri.V.V.Srinivasa Rao and Umayalpuram Sri. Mali, who are closely associated with Sri.Sankara Iyer came to Tirunelveli, where the nonagenarian stalwart is convalescing at his nephew’s house, and offered their pranams in the form of music compositions they had learnt from him.
Sri. Sankara Iyer, though so fragile, greeted them all with much energy, his face wreathed in smiles: his happiness knew no bounds. He was carried on to the stage where he stayed throughout the concert, over five hours, despite his ill health.
His musical memory was perfect: with the utmost ease he went sixty years down memory lane recollecting and sharing many of his precious moments with the doyens of the past. He laughed, he cried, and enjoyed everything that was happening on stage. It was as if he became part the music as it was performed.
The program concluded with one of his disciple Valivalam Venkatraman rendering three of his songs.
He was moved to tears at the end and kept blessing the players.
The hall was packed with admirers of the composer, some of whom had even come from abroad: all enjoyed the occasion immensely and appreciated the efforts of the Sri Jayendra team which included Mrs. Usha Raman and Mrs. Nirmal who created the perfect ambience and provided wonderful hospitality.