Music is a medium that transcends time and this is particularly true of the music and genius of Padmashri Ghantasala Venkateshwar Rao
A SOULFUL TRIBUTE
Shri Ghantasala was a freedom fighter who joined the Quit India movement, for which he spent 18 months in jail. On his release, he happened to meet the famous lyricist Shri Samudrala Raghavacharya. He saw great promise in his melodious voice and inducted him into the film industry. Shri Venkateswara Rao was married to Smt Savithri and Late Smt Sarala Devi. Shri Ghantasala has eight children, four daughters (Meera, Syamala, Suguna and Shanti) and four sons (Vijay, Ravi, Shankar and Ratna).
For 30 years, he ruled the Telugu Music industry, enriching it with innovations and improvements. He also sang in Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Tulu, and Hindi. He held concerts abroad in countries like USA, UK, Germany, Middle East etc. He could modulate his voice and diction to suit the film hero. His rendering of the Bhagavata Gita and the Ashtapadis was exemplary. The versatility of his voice earned him the affectionate title of ‘Gana Gandharva’ (Celestial singer). He sang at the UN where he was decorated with the Peace Medal. Apart from innumerable awards, he was conferred with the Padma Shree by the Government of India. He was also the “Asthana Vidhwan” of Tirumala Tirupathi Deivasthanam.
Since 2007, Parvathi was captivated by the lilting and soulful songs of her legendary father in law Shri Ghantasala. Listening to his magical music and beautiful voice would transmit her into a higher plane of consciousness, where she would visualize in her mind the translation of music into movement. It was her desire to choreograph her father in law's songs into the classical Bharatanatyam style. While the world and music lovers showered tributes to the legendary singer, Universities and roads were named after his genius, temples and charities were founded by several, Parvathi Ravi Ghantasala decided to pay an annual tribute to the legend himself. The “Ghantasala Samarpanam” was founded, which showcased his songs in various dance forms. This further went to prove that his songs and compositions were suited for all forms of classical dance.
Over the years Ghantasala Samarpanam has been honored by Governor
K. Rosaiah, then Chief Justice Manjula Chellur, celebrity artists like P.
Susheela, S.Janaki and renowned scholars like VAK Ranga Rao and
many more. After 10 years of immense success of the Ghantasala
Samarpanam, we instituted an award “Kala Pradarshini Ghantasala
Puraskar” from the Ghantasala family, to the contributors in the field of
arts and philanthropy. At the 95th Birth Anniversary, dignitaries present
were His Holiness Anantha Vibhushita Sri Narayan Theerth Mahaswamy,
Shri Malladi Krishna Rao, Hon’ble Minister for Art & Culture, Govt. of
Puduchery, Prof. G.N. (Guna) Magesan, Vice Chancellor, University &
Institute of Advanced Research, Gujurat. Inaugural awards were
presented to Dr. S.P. Balasubramaniam, Dr. Padma Subramaniam and
Dr. Nallikuppusamy Chetti.
Parvathi has toured most cultural capitals
performing to Shri Ghantasala’s popular songs. Further 95 artists of Kala
Pradarshini performed for the evergreen hits. To commemorate the day,
Kala Pradarshini distributed 950 saplings.
The 96th Anniversary is being curated in equal grandeur with a plan
towards the centenary celebrations. More details of this event will be
released in October 2018.