The Daily Star
---- — The Carnatic Music Ensemble will present a program of classical Indian music on Tuesday as part of the Hewitt Pantaleoni Memorial Concert Series at the State University College at Oneonta.
The group, featuring renowned vocalist and veena player Geetha Ramanathan Bennett, accompanied by Dr. Frank Bennett, on mdrangam (2-headed drum) and Glen (Rusty) Gillette, on ghatam (clay water pot), is playing its 25th concert in the area over a period spanning more than three decades. The ensemble’s longtime relationship with the greater Oneonta area is made possible through its association with the Catskill Symphony Orchestra and the Catskill Conservatory.
The concert, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Room M201 of the college’s Fine Arts Center’s new wing, is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are required. The concert is sponsored by the Catskill Conservatory, in association with the college.
According to a media release, Bennett is a native of Madurrha (Madras), India, who moved to the United State as a teenager in the late 1970s. Her professional career has been dedicated to continuing the tradition of her guru and father, Sangeetha Kalanihi Dr. S. Ramathan, who was one of the first great masters of Indian music to come to the West to teach. She has performed throughout the world, and is especially known for the highly acclaimed tours of her home country for the past 15 years.
The winner of numerous awards, she was named ‘Best Veena Player of the Year’ in India, in 2006. She is also well known internationally as a major figure in the ‘fusion’ of Eastern and Western music, including the fields of jazz and film music. In addition to her musical activities she is known throughout India as an award-winning writer of short stories in her native Tamil language, with more than 100 published works.
Tuesday’s concert is part of the Catskill Consevatory’s 39th annual Spring Music Festival. For additional information about the program, call the Catskill Conservatory at 436-3419.