MANNARGUDI A.EASWARAN - MRIDANGIST.............(b.April 1, 1947)
Vid. Mannargudi A Easwaran, among the top percussionists of India was on 1st April, 1947 to Sri Appayya Dikshitar and Smt Janakiammal. He belongs to the illustrious family of the famed Sanskrit scholar Appayya Dikshitar. He stepped into the world of rhythm at the tender age of 8 under the guidance of Vid. Kuniseri U. Krishnamani Iyer. He has also been under the tutelage of Mridangam maestro Vid. Guruvayoor Dorai. The name Mannargudi Easwaran, came into vogue with the blessings of non other than the Paramacharya of Kanchi Jagadguru Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi. His mother has been a very positive influence in Mannargudi Easwaran's life and career. Easwaran ascribes equal responsibility for his success in the field to his wife Smt. Kamakshi, who has single-handedly managed the family responsibilities, and let the artist-husband to live music to the fullest. The couple are blessed with three children: Anandi, Sangeetha and Krishna Prakash. The daughters have received training in vocal from Vid P S Narayanaswamy. A chip of the old block, Krishnaprakash is a name to reckon with among the bright upcoming Mridangam artists in the Carnatic music scene, even as he manages a parallel career as a chartered accountant with a MNC.
In his musical career that nearly spans half a century, Mannargudi Easwaran has accompanied a wide range of artists, right from the maestros of yesteryears to the young stars of today. Some eminent names in the list would be Vid. Semmangudi Sri R Srinivasa Iyer, Smt M S Subbulakshmi, Dr M L Vasanthakumari, Maharajapuram Sri S Santhanam, Dr M Balamuralikrishna, Veena Sri S Balachander, Sri T N Krishnan, Lalgudi Sri Jayaraman, Mandolin Sri U Srinivas, Madurai Sri T N Seshagopalan, Dr N Ramani, Sri T V Sankaranarayanan, Sri O S Thyagarajan, Sri N Ravikiran, Maharajapuram Sri
S Ramachandran, Smt Sudha Raghunathan, Sri P Unnikrishnan, Sri Sanjay Subramaniam, Sri Vijaya Siva, Sri Ganesh, Sri Kumaresh and Sri T M Krishna.
An arts graduate from the University of Madras, Mannargudi Easwaran was a staff artist of All India Radio, Chennai, for 23 years. He retired as a "grade one" Instrumentalist. He is a top rank artiste of All India Radio and Doordarshan.
* Kalaimamani - By The Government of Tamil Nadu for the year 2003
* Laya Gnana Surabhi - By Tirunelveli Sangeetha Sabha
* Isai Kadal - By Karaikudi Tamil Sangam
* Sunadha Laya Mani - By Deviprasad Sangeetha Vidyalaya, Kumbakonam
* Asthana Vidwan - By Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam
* Sangeetha Kalamrutha - By H.H Haridos Giri Swamiji
* Best Mridangist Award - By Kalarasana – 1993
* Best Senior Mridangist - By Music Academy – 2000
* Mridanga Laya Mani - By H.H Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal
* Laya Kaladhara Samrat - By Indian Classical Music Federation
* Palghat Mani Iyer Award - By Percussive Arts Centre, Bangalore - 2006
Sri Appaya Dikshitar was honoured with 'Kanakabhishekam' by Chinna Bomma Raja of Vellore in 1582 A.D and he erected temples with the gold. Has sung devotional hymns and authored works like 'Siddhantalesa Sangraha'