The Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival is the largest Indian classical music festival outside of India. It was first celebrated in 1978 and has now grown to be a 12-day festival with more than 8,000 attendees with 2,000 appearing for the opening weekend.
The amazing feature of this year’s Cleveland Aradhana Festival was the overwhelming presence of children as competitors, performers and avid listeners.
Several young artists performed over the 12 days of the festival — in groups, as soloists and as accompanists to senior artists.
All these youngsters are brilliant and shine in their respective areas. Kudos to each and every participant, for their enthusiastic and effortless performances. That goes to the parents as well, for their dedication and encouragement provided to the new generation in their pursuit of this fine art.
A special mention goes to Ananth Mysore who won in several categories-Kirthi, Alapana, Kalpana Swaras and Virutham. He also got the RK Srikantan award for winning in many categories at the senior level.
Admission to most parts of the festival was free, with the exception of a couple of ticketed programs. Throughout the festival, the atmosphere was like a big family celebration, where everyone enjoyed some wonderful music and great dance performances; not to mention the excellent food that was available during breaks!
Great show Cleveland! Keep up the good work of keeping the tradition alive!