The festival, which has been held uninterrupted since 1928, will be a shortened version without all its usual trappings.
In order to continue with its long-standing tradition of conducting the Chennai Margazhi music festival and at the same time adhere to safety norms mandated by the still widespread COVID-19 pandemic, The Music Academy, the founding body of the festival, has decided to conduct its famed concerts online this year. Notably, in 2017, Chennai made it to the UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network as a Creative City of Music, valued most for its internationally acclaimed music and dance festivals held during the Tamil month of Margazhi (mid-December to mid-January).
Speaking to TNM, N Murali, President of The Music Academy shares, “Since 1928, the year in which the Margazhi Festival was founded in Madras by the Academy, we have been hosting it uninterruptedly. Even during World War II and the 2004 tsunami, the festival continued. However, this year, with the pandemic still raging unabated and the uncertainty that looms large because of it, we have decided to take the festival online.”
“We don’t want to wait till the very last minute and take chances,” he continues, “and at this time, a physical concert especially one inside an air-conditioned hall may not be permissible. Most importantly, we do not want to expose our musicians, rasikas (patrons) and our senior members, who are most vulnerable, to a dangerous situation.”
While the committee members are yet to finalise the format of the festival, it will be a shortened version without all its usual trappings.
“This online festival will not be the same as the physical concerts. Duration will definitely be shorter. We’re still deciding on the final list of artistes and giving the festival a final shape. One thing is clear, while we surely won’t have physical concerts, the festival will go on to continue with the uninterrupted tradition,” he adds.
The Music Academy is among the premier concert halls in Chennai that draws a huge crowd every year during the Margazhi season from across the world.
Source: The News Minute