Grand Concert of Indian Classical Music Hosted by Chinmaya Mission Chicago

Chicago IL: Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna (Padma Vibhushan ) and Pt. Ronu Majumdar (Grammy Nominee), along with accompanying artists, rendered a soul stirring concert to a ‘sold out’ audience of close to 700 people on Sunday, October 23, 2011. The concert was organized to commemorate the 18th sthapana anniversary of Lord Badrinarayana Murti in the shrine at Chinmaya Mission Chicago’s Badri center located in Willowbrook, IL.

The Grand Concert, held at the Sama Rathi auditorium in HTGC, was a tribute and celebration of the community oriented service that Chinmaya Mission Chicago has been providing to the Chicagoland area families for the past 30 years.

Mission is dedicated to educating our children, adults and families as a whole, fostering self-development through right understanding of our religious principles and practice of value-based living. Mission continues to offer weekly classes, lectures and discourses, including periodic camps and retreats to support and strengthen our families. With 2 vibrant centers, Badri (in Willowbrook, IL) and Yamunotri (in Grayslake, IL) over a1000 children and hundreds of families are involved in the Mission classes held each week. You can get details about all the Mission activities by visiting or contacting Mrs. Rajul Bhalala at 847-302- 2383 (or) Acharya. Shanker Pillai at 630-886-6442.

Dr. M Balamuralikrishna, a legendary Carnatic musician, has won innumerable awards as a vocalist, composer, music director, play back singer & actor! This is what Pujya Swami Chinmayanandaji has said about Balamuraliji: “Music – when it flows from Balamuralikrishna, one realizes what the gopikas felt in their ecstasy of Divine Love.”

Fondly known as the “Thyagaraja of the Present Era”, nearly 400 of his compositions include Varnams, Kritis, Javalis, Devotional songs and Thillanas. At the tender age of fifteen, he was already a popular performing artist who composed songs in all the 72 Melakarta ragas. A born musician and child prodigy, Balamuraliji has given over 26,000 performances around the globe, to date. His versatile and fluid renditions and his clear diction in almost any Indian dialect has earned him titles such as „Sangeetha Saraswati and „Naada Maharishi. His latest accolade is the „Padma-Vibhushan, the second-highest honor awarded by the Government of India. Balamuraliji’s advice to future generations: “Concentrate on Art for Art’s sake, and not for opportunities!”

Pt Ronu Majumdar, India’s Ace Flutist began his career at a very tender age as a flutist for the legendary film music composer, R.D. Burman, and evolved as a classical concert solo artist, groomed by music scholars Pt. Vijay Raghav Rao, and Pt. Ravi Shankar. Deep rooted as he is in traditional Hindustani Classical Music, due to Ronuji’s creative improvisations, he is also coupled with formidable knowledge of ‘World Music’, having recorded albums with Phillips Glass and the famous Beatles personality George Harrison. Ronuji’s own innovation is the “Shankh Bamsuri”, a flute that adds an extra dimension at the lower scales. Besides innumerable National awards such as Aditya Birla, Sahara Pariwar, Kumar Gandharva, & Pt. Jasraj awards, Ronuji has also won two Grammy nominations and composed the original score for the IMAX production of
„Mystic India. “Ronu is definitely the ‘Dr. Feelgood’ of the Indian Flute” says the famous western guitarist Ry Cooder. By virtue of his phenomenal in-born talent, he and his Bansuri are practically synonymous, rendering simply mesmerizing and divine performances!

Accompanying Artists
B.U. Ganesh Prasad • Violin
An extremely talented youngster, he had his initial training from Basavanagudi Natraj of Bangalore and advanced training under the able guidance of the violin maestro, V.V. Subramanyam, of Madras. Ganesh Prasad has gained fame in India and abroad for his excellent accompaniment with leading artistes of South India. Acknowledged as a violinist par excellence, Ganesh Prasad is an A-grade artist of All India Radio & Doordarshan.

Tanjore Murugaboopathi • Mridangam
He is one of the seniors and most sought after percussionists in the Carnatic music field today. He is the leading disciple of the great Mridangist Sri Tanjavur Upendran.

Abhijit Banerjee • Tabla
Abhijitji is a disciple of the great tabla teacher Pt. Ghyan Prakash Ghosh. He is also trained in vocal music by Pt Ajoy Chakraborty and in Violin by Smt. Annapurna Devi. A winner of prestigious Tansen Music award in his childhood, he has accompanied many great artists like Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Parween Sultana, Pt Ronu Majumdar and The Late Pt. Nikhil Banerjee. He has traveled all over Europe, America and Japan, giving performances and conducting workshops.

Concert sponsors: Dr. Rafiq Ahmed; (Drs.) Surendra & Sunitha Avula; Dr. & Mrs. Refat Baridi; Mr. & Mrs. Jude Crasto (Air India); Dr. Sreenivasa & Mrs. Uma: Dharmavaram; Mr. Bawa & Mrs. Bubbly Duggal (Creative Imports); (Drs.) Kundan & Neela Giri; Mr. & Mrs. Suresh Kumar (State Bank of India); Mr. Nand & Mrs.(Dr.) Latha Kumar; (Drs.) Mihir & Mita Majmundar; Mrs. Adriana Mourgelas (Morgan Park Academy); Mrs. Jayanthi Rangarajan; Dr. Ravi & Mrs. Rekha Sansguiri; Dr. Sudarshan & Mrs. Nirupama Sharma; Drs. Yogesh & Mrs. Shefali Tejpal.

Photographs by: Asian Media USA
Press release by: Chinmaya Mission Chicago

Suresh Bodiwala
Asian Media USA
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