10th Annual Birmingham Thyagaraja Festival Receives Blessings from PMs of India and UK

Prime Minister Sunak echoed these sentiments, recognizing the festival’s role in promoting cultural exchange and strengthening UK-India relations…reports Asian Lite News

The 10th annual Birmingham Thyagaraja Festival (BTF) has received notable endorsements from Shri Narendra Modi, Honourable Prime Minister of India, and Rt Hon Rishi Sunak, Prime Minister of Great Britain. The festival, organized by ShruthiUK, celebrates Indian classical music and dance, paying homage to the South Indian Singing Saint Thyagaraja.

In his message, Prime Minister Modi congratulated the team at ShruthiUK, highlighting the festival as a significant event for both the Indian diaspora and those in India. He extended his best wishes for the festival’s success, emphasizing the cultural unity it fosters. Prime Minister Sunak echoed these sentiments, recognizing the festival’s role in promoting cultural exchange and strengthening UK-India relations.

UNESCO Patronage and Prestigious Partnerships: The festival is honored with patronage from the UK National Commission for UNESCO. It collaborates with notable figures such as Mr. Andy Street, CBE, former Combined Mayor of West Midlands, Sir John Crabtree, OBE, Lord Lieutenant of West Midlands, and other premier partners and renowned music professionals.

Kangkhita Chaudhury – Hindustani vocal

Young Indian Cultural Ambassadors Awards (YICA): Launched in 2023 to commemorate India’s 75th year of independence, the YICA Awards recognize young talents promoting Indian culture globally. The 2024 awardees include exceptional individuals in various art forms such as Bharatanatyam, Mridangam, Violin, and Carnatic vocal music.

Celebrating Women Achievers: In line with International Women’s Day, the festival honors women from diverse backgrounds for their remarkable contributions. This year’s honorees include Carmen Watson DL, Chair of Pertemps Network Group, and Sarah Rennie DL, an accessibility and inclusion consultant.

The BTF is a celebration of Indian classical music and dance, commemorating the 177th birthday of Saint Thyagaraja. This year, the festival expanded to a two-day virtual event, showcasing performances from professionals and young talents worldwide. The festival aims to promote cultural exchange, unity, and appreciation of Indian art forms.

Violin – Neha Murthy, Rohan Murthy, Hrishi Ankireddy on Mridangam

James Ömer Bridge, Secretary-General and Chief Executive of the UK National Commission for UNESCO: “We are delighted to offer patronage to the 10th Birmingham Thyagaraja Festival. The festival is a wonderful tribute to Saint Thyagaraja and demonstrates how India’s cultural history enriches people’s lives.”

Andy Street, CBE, Former Combined Mayor of the West Midlands: “The festival brings together the British Indian community and supports the strengthening of longstanding links between Britain and India. I send my best wishes to ShruthiUK and the BTF team for a successful festival.”

Skandan Bharadwaj – Mridangam

The festival commenced with a welcome address from dignitaries, including Cllr Diana Holl-Allen of Solihull, Dr. Andy Street, CBE, and Dr. Paul Sabapathy, CVO CBE. Performances featured a blend of classical and folk music and dance, celebrating the rich heritage of Carnatic music and its global influence.

Dr. Chithra Ramakrishnan FRSA, Founder and Artistic Director of ShruthiUK: “The BTF extends heartfelt thanks to all our esteemed global patrons, ambassadors, and participants involved in this year’s festival. We are committed to promoting peace, harmony, and unity through the expressions of Indian art forms.”

Srividhya Ramesh – Bharatanatyam

About ShruthiUK:

Established in 2005, ShruthiUK is a South Asian arts organization based in Solihull. It promotes South Indian classical music and dance across the Midlands and the UK. The Birmingham Thyagaraja Festival, curated by Dr. Chithra Ramakrishnan MBE FRSA FRAS, has been an annual celebration since 2015.

For more information about the Birmingham Thyagaraja Festival and to get involved, visit ShruthiUK’s website.

Silpa Nycil – Bharatanatyam
Sindhu Achar – Mohinattam
Bhavapriya M. – Carnatic vocal
Anirudh Iyer – Mridangam
Vidhatri Rao and Vikhyati Rao, accompanied by Amogh Kuchibhotla on mridangam
Violin – Neha Murthy, Rohan Murthy, Hrishi Ankireddy on Mridangam

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