Profiles of Artistes, Composers, Musicologists
Unless otherwise specified, the profiles in this section are
The Garland, Another Garland, Yet Another Garland and The
Fragrant Garland by Mr.N.Rajagopalan
PAKKIRIA PILLAI - KONNAKOL OR KONUGOLU.............(1857-1937)
'I have heard
of a Konnakol Venkatramier. But I know nothing of what he did. But I give
expression to what Lord Muruga and Soottukol Swami put into my mind', Mannargudi
Pakkiria Pillai, the renowned Konnakol vidwan is reported to have said.
Konnakol is oral laya play instead of on any instrument. It is difficult
art rarely practised at concerts since it calls for not only seasoned expertise
in laya but also the extroadinary capability to reproduce the numerous
phrases and rhythms, sound patterns and variations with all the bewildering
speed that is shown on instruments with both the hands. It was the 'Laya
Season' in Carnatic music with Manpoondia Pillai, Dakshinamurthy Pillai,
Pakkiria Pillai, etc. functioning through vocalist maestros, Konerirajapuram
Vaidyanatha Ayyar, Kanchipuram Naina Pillai and Chittoor Subramania Pillai.
Born at Rajamannargudi,
of Chockalinga Nattuvanar and Parvathi Ammal in a family of Bharatanatya
teachers, Pillai was named after Nagoor Andavar as 'Pakkiri'. Nagoor is
a symbol of Hindu-Muslim amity, the durgah being a favourite haunt of all.
He was in his ancestral profession of Bharatanatya and took to tavil at
twenty, taking training under Mannargudi, he was popular as a tavil vidwan.
It is stated that his mind reeled off intricate patterns so fast that the
instrument could not produce it and so he turned to Konnakol! 'The tremendous
velocity of his mind was always far in advance of his actual expression.'
He was a devout person and a devotee of Muruga and Mahatma Gandhi. He died
on November 2, 1937. His son, P.Vaidyalingam, who was for some time Lecturer
in Music, Annamalai University, has authored the book 'Talamum Anubhavamum'.
- MUHARSING VIDWAN.............(January 25, 1916 - July 15, 1989)
An old vidwan
is with Morsing,
can sing more!'
had been giving support with his muharsing for sixty years - one of the
oldest artistes thriving on a subsidiary instrument in spite of its cosntraints,
limitations and potential by sheer will-power, mastery and ability to express
his scintillating conceptions by the devilry of manipulations on the smallest
of musical equipments.
Son of mridanga
vidwan Venugopal Naidu and Bangaru Amma, Pakkiriswamy had his training
under Peethambara Desai in mridangam and muharsing and made his debut in
1929 as accompanist to Tiger Varadachariar. He had been playing for
all top musicians and was a standing accompanist to the late Seergazhi
Govindarajan for about twenty-eight years. His professional life
spanned six decades.
from the Tamil Nadu Eyal Isai Nataka Mandram
He was anxious
to get an All India Award but was not destined to be so honoured while
- RENOWNED VIOLINIST.............(September 12, 1901 - March 17, 1972)
the famous Karur Quartet, Mathrubhutayya and Karur Chinnaswami Ayyah (1888-1967)
- a galaxy of composers and violinists, Papa Venkataramiah was a renowned
violinist in the field along with the giants like Dwaram, Chowdiah and
Rajamanickam Pillai. Son of Karur Srikantiah, Venkatramiah was a polished
accompanist and an occasional soloist. He had his musical training under
his father, Karur Chinnaswami Ayyah and Malaikottai Govindaswamy Pillai.
He had been accompanying the top artistes of the day and was known for
his sweet and expressive play. He was very keen about sruti alignment and
included his son V.Tyagarajan, a performing artiste, T.Abhiramasundari,
a grand daughter of Dhanammal and K.Jayalakshmi (Rosy). He was honoured
with the title of Sangita Kalanidhi by the Music Academy, Madras in 1962.
Had received the awards from the State and Central Sangeet Natak Academies
- VOCALIST.............(b. November 8, 1917)
decades 'S.V.V.' denoted subtle and exuberant wit and humour. S.V.Vijayaraghavachariar
was a prolific writer and an advocate. His sons, parhasarathy and S.V.Soundararajan
were coached initially in music by their mother, Pankajammal. Later S.V.Parthasarathy
had his full-fledged training at the Annamalai University which then enjoyed
a galaxy of professors of eminence during 1934-38 and got the title Sangita
Bhushanam. He made his debut in the year of graduation itself (1938) at
Tiruvannamali and followed it up in 1939 at the Jagannatha Baktha Sabha,
Egmore, where T.M.Krishnaswami Ayyar, the Tiruppugazh Mani, presented him
with a tambur. Since then, he has been giving concerts - as duo with his
brother till 1954 and later solo in sabhas, All India Radio and Doordarshan.
He has occupied several posts as Lecturer & professor in various Universities.
A good veena player, Parthasarathy has contributed many articles and was
on the Experts Committee, Music Academy. As Producer, All India Radio,
he brought out features like 'Kertananjali' and 'Raga Vilakkam'
besides programmes for children. Has coached many in music. Had been in
charge of the music section of the renowned tamil weekly 'Kalki'
Samrat by Sayee Matha Devi, Pudukottai in 1977
Madras Music Academy and editor of its prestigious journal, T.S.Parthasarathy
is a musicologist of considerable merit. Passionately devoted to classical
Carnatic music, he is the guiding spirit behind the activities of the august
Academy. His second passion is research and publication. Besides numerous
articles on Carnatic music, Bharatanatyam and allied subjects in English,
Tamil and Telugu, he has published over a dozen books including :
a. Tamil transalation
of seven Tagore plays
edition of 675 songs of Tyagaraja in Telugu and Sanskrit with a Tamil transalation
c. A compilation
of the musical compositions of Muthuswami Dikshitar and Syama Sastri in
d. Tamil transalation
of 'Prahalada Bhakti Vijayam' of Tyagaraja
e. Tamil transalation
of 'Jayadeva' by Suniti Kumar Chatterji
f. Tamil transalation
of 'Musical Instruments of India' by B.C.Deva
had his academic studies at the Madras and Calcutta Universities and holds
the degree of B.A.(Hons.) with four distinctions. Learnt music while young
and studied the theory of Carnatic & Hindustani music systems and of
as a Member of the Music Audition Board of the All India Radio for six
years. Correspondent, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, examiner in
music for different universities for candidates seeking doctorates. He
is a musicologist of vast parts and deep penetration in the twin fields
of music & dance.
KALANIDHI D.K. PATTAMMAL- VOCALIST.............(b.March 19, 1919)
Carnatic Classical Musicians, a musician with the largest repertoire of
songs of eminent composers and a stauncch unswerving classicist true to
tradition and faithful in redition. D.K.Pattammal is a highly respected
figure - respected for her age, art, accomplishments and attainments. Consistency
has been her strength. Perhaps she is the only musician who had given concerts
continuously at the Music Academy, Madras. Her rendition is soft, smooth
and appealing. Her control over rhythm is impeccable and she sings with
feeling and understanding. Her phrasing is clear. 'She is premier among
female performers to adopt Pallavi frequently as part of her concerts.'
She had sung patriotic songs during the Freedom struggle. Scores of disciples
have had the benefit of training under her. Iswara Ayyar, her husband is
a devotee of true art and tradition. Her parents Damal Krishnaswamy Dikshitar
and Rajammal brought in disciples of great musicians to train Pattammal
and she passed the Government Technical Examination.
Born in a musical
family, D.K.Pattammal was capble of rendering pallavis very early and she
had musical training from stalwarts including Ambi Dikshitar and T.L.Venkatarama
Ayyar. She has an immense and varied repertoire. A complete musician, her
rendition mirrors firm faith in tradition, religion and poise without even
a snap detour from the classical 'raja marga'. D.K.Jayaraman is
her brother and disciple, who was singing with her for a long time.
Natak Academy Award
from Music Academy in 1970
from Tamil Isai Sangam
Sikhamani from Indian Fine Arts Society, MAdras
from the President of India.