Orchestra on Stage
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M.S.Viswanathan is the first person in the State (or) even the country to introduce Orchestra on to Stage. He started this as a recognition to the fellow musicians in his troope. MSV has given innumerable concerts both with-in and outside the country. His music travel includes foreign places like Russia, Paris, London, Canada, Denmark. Within India he has travelled to places like New Delhi, and almost whole of Tamil Nadu. A brief list of his concerts:
MSV has extensively performed not only in all the major cities and other places in India, but has widely traveled overseas also. He has performed in most places in Europe, USA, Canada, South East Asia and the Middle East. One of his latest concerts in Kuwait drew an audience of 10,000- a rare phenomenon in deed in a place like Kuwait! MSV even now tours extensively and performs on stage with his orchestra even at the age of 79!
Concert in Bombay (with Naushad Ali):
Note worthy concert- When MSV was invited to Bombay during the 70’s, the one & only condition that was laid by MSV was - to have Naushad Ali as the Chief Guest. Naushad Ali came for the programme and informed MSV that he may not be able to sit for a long time owing to age and went onto the stage and emptied a sack full of letters!! - All written to him by MSV from Madras (PB sreenivas was the man who helped MSV communicate with Naushad in Urdu writing!) MSV had gone for this concert with a full compliment of his leading singers, instrument players. As the programme was nearing it’s end- a small message came to MSV requesting for the song “Odam Nathiyiniley” by Sirghazhi Govindarajan and the sender was none other than the Great Naushad Ali himself!!! MSV was so thrilled and knew at that time only about Naushad’s presence in the hall as Naushad had informed him earlier that he would leave the hall soon. That was the mesmorising melodies of MSV that made a genius of a composer like Naushad Ali, cling to his seat!!
Concert in Russia:
The first abroad concert for MSV. Kavignar Kannadasan helped MSV in almost everything, right from tieing the tie, shoe-lace etc. During this trip MSV discovered the relationship between Russian folk and Indian (Kerala) folk and demonstrated that to the Russian Audience along with his Orchestra. Kannadasan instantly penned words for the tune sung by MSV and both received great cheers and applaud from the crowd. It was an unforgettable experience for MSV!
Jalandhar and Delhi Trip - In front of the President of India:
MSV had a trip to NewDelhi with his crew for a programme for hospitalised Indian soldiers. It was the time during India-Pak war. Dr.Radhakrishnan was the President, Lal Bahadur Shastri was the Prime Minister and Kamarajar was the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. The list of people included Sivaji Ganesan, Gemini Ganesan, Savithri, Jayalalitha, A.L.Raghavan, Kannadasan, Devika, Chandra Babu and ofcourse MSV. "Pirakkum Pothum Azhukinrai..." from "Kavalai Illadha Manithan" was sung by Chandra Babu. MSV's music moved the President of India and the President's gesture moved MSV!
Tirunelveli Concerts - An Yearly Event:
Tirunelveli, one of the southern districts of India, witnessed MSV's concerts every year. There will be a week-long celebrations in the town which included functions in the temple. The last day of the celebrations will feature MSV's programme. The response will always be an overwhelming crowd of "Crazy" fans of MSV. There have been fans who have changed the dates in the tickets and have entered the concerts with "fake" tickets, everything just for MSV and his music.
(More on this by Ramki, in his "Mesmerizing MSV" and by Babu, in his "Notes from Babu's Music Diary" under the Fan Club section)
Coimbatore Concert - For a fund raising programme for Kannadasan's statue:
MSV wanted to open a statue for Kannadasan and his long-time dream started to get fulfilled in Coimbatore. It was a fund raising concert. A major attraction was that it brought MSV and Illayaraja on to a single stage. It also brought other music composers like Shankar and Ganesh on to the same stage. Illayaraja was so excited on that occasion that he gave a big hug and kissed MSV on his cheeks. It was a great moment for a huge audience. Kannadasan's statue is in G.N.Chetty Road, Chennai.