Profiles of the later 20th century musicians, instrumentalists
BAKTHAVATSALAM - MRIDANGIST.............(b.25 November 1956)
in a traditional musical family, Bakthavatsalam had his training in Mridangam
under his maternal uncle, Tiruvarur Krishnamurthy, who was Staff Artiste,
All India Radio, Pondicherry. Made his debut at the age of nine and has
since accompanied top ranking musicians. A versatile and popular percussionist,
his solos are entertaining.
'Mridanga Vadhya Mani from Sri Sankaracharya of Kanchipuram.
BOMBAY BALAJI - MRIDANGIST.............(b. November 1, 1969)
Bombay Balaji is among the bright artistes who have caught the
imagination of the media and rasikas. Started his training at the age of
six under the maestro Palghat Mani Ayyar, continued it under Trichy
Raghava Ayyar, Professor (retired) in Mridangam, Benares Hindu
University and is now having special coaching under Palghat Raghu. made
his debut in 1981 providing accompaniment to Sangita Kalanidhi
T.N.Krishnan. Bombay Balaji has been providing rich and competent
accompaniment to senior artistes in All India Radio, Doordarshan and at
sabhas. Enjoys versatile style, dexterous fingering and rhythmic
variations. A popular artiste.
J.BALAJI - MRIDANGIST..............(b. 1965)
One of the founders of YACM (Youth Association for Classical Music).
J.Balaji belongs to the tribe of prominent rising stars who have
equipped themselves with good collegiate education and an assured job (
employed in the Reserve Bank of India) even while pursuing their
favourite musical inclinations with dedication. He has already taken
part in about four hundred concerts accompanying senior and upcoming
artistes. His percussive expertise is well 'laced with nice technical
touches'. He had his percussive training under Tanjore R.Ramadoss, a
disciple of Palghat Mani Ayyar & Ramnad K.M.Kandaswamy, a disciple
of Palani Subramania Pillai. Balaji has thus the benefit of the Tanjore
and Ramnad banis. He has been giving lecture demonstrations and
contributing aricles. Made his debut in 1982.
He started his music lessons when he was four. Initially, he learnt
music from Uma Kalyanasundaram for four years. In 1983, he started
learning from Shri D.K.Jayaraman. His main emphasis was on kirtanas. His
first kutcheri along with Shri Jayaraman was in 1987. After Shri.
Jayaraman, he is taking lessons from Smt D.K. Pattammal and from Ms.
Radha Viswanathan. He performed at the Music Academy when he was in his
Balaji is a Maths student from D.G.Vaishnava College.
Sujatha Dutta (born in 1963) & Sunitha Prakash (born in 1968) were
born in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and raised in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Their
education was in Bangalore and they have completed their graduation from
Osmania University. They hail from a family of eminent artistes -
maternal grandmother Bruhat Sundara Kuchamba, maternal grandfather
V.Gopal Rao (Sitar Vidwan), paternal great grandfather Kaveeshwara
Asthan Vidwan in the Mysore Palace), mother Sumithra (disciple of
Balamurali Krishna, Voleti Venkateshwarulu and Ghantasala), their
cousin Dr.Swapna Sundari (eminent Kuchipudi dancer).
Sujatha Dutta & Sunitha Prakash, have been trained in Carnatic
vocal. They have also learnt Hindustani and Western music. Their first
Guru was their grandmother Bruhat Sundara Kuchamba. Later they
were trained by Parvathamma and M.V.Ananth Kumar, who was a Grade-A
artiste in AIR, Bangalore. Their Hindustani Music Guru was Mahendra Nokad.
Popularly known as "THE SUPRABHATA SISTERS", the duo have rendered more
than 5000 devotional albums, rendered over 10,000
songs as solo performers, individually sung in about 150 Kannada films and have composed
music for close to 400 albums.
They conduct classes not only in music but also workshops
on studio singing and stage performances. They are proficient &
render services in various healing modalities like Music Therapy, Mantra
Therapy. They have been initiated into the holistic healing
methodologies by their Spiritual Guru, Sri Amrutha Padananda
(Professor Seshan Guruji), amongst a few others.
BHUSHANY KALYANARAMAN - CARNATIC MUSICIAN
Kulasegaran family of Sri Lanka was captivated by the beauty of
Carnatic music. It cast its spell especially on the eldest of his six
children. Bhushany migrated to India and achieved name and fame here as
Bhushany Kalyanaraman. Born and brought up in Colombo, Sri Lanka, it was
a typical Tamil household where her father used to ensure that everyone
was awake at 5 a.m., reciting the Tiruvempavai. At an every early
age she could recite Sivapuranam and Thevaram. She enrolled in
Tamilnadu Music college and after graduating, she worked as a professor
of music at the Jaffna University and also presented a few papers at
music conferences in Sri Lanka and India. She also serves as a visiting
professor of vocal and veena at the Kalakshetra foundation.
The riots in 1982 brought her back to India, drawn by her deep
admiration for her subsequent guru and husband, Tanjore S.Kalyanaraman,
senior disciple of the legendary G.N.B, who molded her into a worthy
musician. Along the way she gathered several awards and accolades. The
big sabhas of Chennai appreciated and encouraged her. AIR, Doordarshan
and the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation recognized her as an 'A'
In the music festival of 2000, she was nominated by the Music Academy
for the award 'Best Vocalist for rendering kalpanaswaras'. In 1998, the
AVM recording company released a double album of her music. The Tamil
Nadu Government gave her the Kalaimamani award & the Sri Lankan
Government honored her with "GANA RATNA".
(Information & photo provided by C.R. Kaushik,Texas, USA).
BOMBAY SISTERS - C.SAROJA & C.LALITHA - VOCALISTS.............
The sisters, Saroja and Lalitha are a prominent duo who have been
gracing the Carnatic Music stage with distinction. Quite popular and in
heavy demand for their concerts, the sisters enjoy a pleasing voice,
happy unison in presentation and effortless ease in singing. They take
care to present the audience with ideal raga delineation, swara
elaboration and balanced concert content.
The sisters were born at Trichur, Kerala of N.Chidambara Ayyar and
Muktambal. They graduated from the Wardha University. Had their initial
training in music under H.A.S. Mani of Bombay and then got the 'Sangita
Vidwan' diploma from the Central College of Carnatic Music, Madras. Had
further training under Sangita Kalanidhi Musiri Subramanya Ayyar during
1958-60 and 1961-63 with the Government of India Cultural Scholarship
separately. T.K.Govinda Rao is their guru since 1963.
Bombay sisters have given performances throughout India and on the All
India Radio. They made their debut in 1960 at Ambattur in the presence
of Sri Mounananda Swamigal who blessed them with the name 'Bombay
'Isai Mamanigal' by Ulaga Tamizhisai Mandram in 1977.
'Madhura Gana Manoranjani' by Sri Azhagiya Singar, Jeer Swami of Ahobila Math