Ananya, housed at Malleswara, Bangalore, India, is a non-profit trust with the primary motive of promoting classical music in more than one way. Established on 27 May 1995, Ananya has been serving the cause of art, especially that of music and musicians since then.
Why the name Ananya?
“Ananya means unique. Different in our approach,” says Dr. R.V. Raghavendra, the man behind the now widely-known organization.
Ananya organizes musical concerts by veterans as well as budding artists, lecture-cum-demonstrations on various topics related to music and seminars. “Only by organizing concerts can we get music-loving people to come closer, ” feels Dr. Raghavendra.
The organization also recognizes the devoted service and rich contribution of artists by honoring them with various awards. As Dr. Raghavendra explains, “My aim is not just organizing concerts but also helping the academic-oriented to help artists and also the field of art.” Ananya has instituted the following awards:
Ananya Puraskara: for senior musicians
Ananya Yuva Puraskara: for encouraging young artists
Ananya Kalavidaru: for an artist of eminence from different districts of Karnataka
Ananya Kalabigna: for artists in the field of light music
Ananya Prathibhe: for budding artists.
Ananya Karnataka Shastriya Sangeetha Kalabhivrudhi Samithi has been instituted to monitor the growth of music by paying attention to various requirements of this art. The Samithi takes steps for the improvement of the examination system and evaluation in music. The Samithi also provides guidance to young aspiring artists.
Nirantara is another unique programme at Ananya. Young artists are asked to perform in the presence of their gurus. This is followed by an evaluation.
“To serve the cause of art you don’t have to be an artist,” avers Raghavendra. And how well he serves the cause of art in myriad ways! “I enjoy organizing and have been interested in organizing right from my student days,” he states. “My habits are so limited that whatever time and money I have, I can conveniently spend on music,” declares the publicity-shy music aficionado. The penchant for organizing and ‘whatever time and money’ spent results in an amazing array of services for the world of classical music and musician.
A free monthly magazine on music in Kannada whose on-the-dot arrival every month is eagerly awaited by a few thousand readers all over India. “There was no music magazine in Kannada, which we thought was very essential,” says Raghavendra. Launched five years ago, the magazine is rated highly in circles and features many informative and interesting articles on Indian Classical Music.
Established by the Ananya-GML Cultural Academy, Ananya Sangraha is a modern resource center for collecting, preserving and organizing audio recordings and other materials such as books, journals, articles in newspapers and journals and photographs relating to Indian Classical Music. Ananya Sangraha is spread over three floors (1500 sq. ft.). For members to listen to the collection in the library, music systems, disc players, gramophones, spool players, and headphones have been provided.
Ananya Sangraha has two wings. One wing is the audio library with a stupendous collection of about 5000 hours of audio recordings (2500 cassettes and 500 CDs) of live concerts (some dating back to the 1950s) of about 150 stalwarts and pioneering musicians, and lectures and demonstrations (lecdems). All the recordings are catalogued by artist, song, raga, etc. The other wing contains over 1000 texts and documents on music, many of them rare and out of print. The materials are in English, Kannada, Telugu and other languages. There are books on composers and their compositions, musicology and the teaching of music and various journals. The library is also collecting rare photographs, potraits and biographical profiles of musicians.
The entire Ananya Sangraha archive is based completely on personal collections including the University of Hawaii’s gift of 700 cassettes of Nepali, Bengali, Konkani and other South Asian music. Upholding the trust of those who have donated originals, neither the audio recording nor the books are lent out.
Ananya Arogyadhara Nidhi is a unique health-helpline, a corpus fund, to give medical assistance to needy musicians who have devoted themselves to the cause of music. A wide network of willing medical specialists has been formed all over the state to provide free consultation and facilities like diagnostic tests and treatment at affordable costs. The fund also extends financial assistance for treatment to needy musicians. It has been planned to form exclusive teams of doctors in different districts of Karnataka in association with the music organizations of those districts. An ambitious and desirable project like this needs and deserves the cooperation of all.
Ananya has brought out illustrated calendars for the last six years on music and art related themes. A collector’s item, the calendars have featured stalwarts of Classical Music and rare paintings representing musical notes and ragas. Ananya Calendar 2003 is a set of paintings that are visual representation of ragas, called Ragamala.
Apart from publishing the magazine Ananya Abhivyakhti, Ananya also publishes books on Indian Classical Music. It is always willing to publish good books written on Indian Classical Music. Some of the books published are: With Masters of Melody by Sangeetha Kalanidhi Mysore Vasudevacharya, translated into English by S. Krishnamurthy; Asesha Padmanabha Samputa by Sangeetha Vidwan Shreekantham Nagendra Shastry; Nadanadi translated from Marathi to Kannada by Amina Bhavi.
Dr. R.V. Raghavendra hails from Chitradurga. He completed his M.Sc. from Mysore University and Ph.D in Geochemistry from the Indian Institute of Science. He took just 3 years for his doctoral thesis but was more famous in the institute for his extra-curricular cultural activities.
He established Geological and Metallurgical Laboratories (GML), the moving force behind Ananya. It is an industrial test house that has been serving mineral and metal-based engineering industries in India and abroad. His wife B.N. Pramila Bai is a scientist herself. They work together and it is with her support that he finds the time to devote to the multifarious activities of Ananya.