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Palghat Raghu
Palghat Raghu was, throughout his career spanning six decades, known for the intellectual content of his mridangam playing, as he never settled for mediocrity. Even in the early days of his career, as a young artiste, he came into the Carnatic music field as a "connoisseur's delight" and remained so till his last days.
Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer
Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer was born in 1908 at Tirukkodikaval. He hailed from a family of musicians. Violin maestro Krishna Iyer was his maternal uncle. A disciple of Semmangudi Narayanaswm Iyer, Gottuvadyam exponent Sakharama Rao, Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer and Umayalpuram Swaminatha Iyer, he began performing in 1926.
Madurai Mani Iyer
At the tender age of nine, Mani Iyer had started his musical journey. Born on October 25 in 1912 in Madurai as only son to an erudite veteran in classical music, Ramaswamy Iyer, he had three sisters. His mother too was knowledgeable in classical music. Small wonder he imbibed an interest in music at an early age.
For over four decades, I am captive to his music. "Music follows me wherever I go," he smiled mischievously recently while in Bangalore. Quite like him to be assertive, at times even cryptic!
Lalgudi Jayaraman
It is not as if I had not relished the music of violin maestro Lalgudi Jayaraman before I went abroad. Ironically, it was while speaking to the undersecretary of Arts & Culture department in Doha, Qatar, back in March 1984, that I realized instrumental music had a new dimension to it. We had approached the undersecretary for permission to host Lalgudi's carnatic music concert.
Flute Mali - A trail-blazer
T.R. Mahalingam (16-11-1926 to 31-05-1986), popularly known as Mali, was and continues to be the "God of celestial flute", whose playing was the epitome of all divine music as embodied by Lord Krishna himself.
Manjapara Devesa Ramanathan (MDR) was born on May 21, 1923 to Devesa Bhagavathar and Seethalakshmy Ammal in Manjapara in Palghat district of Kerala. He grew up in an atmosphere of divine music, since he was born in a family of musicians.
Nedunuri Krishnamoorthy
In one of his concerts, Lalgudi Jayaraman, accompanying him on the violin, refused to respond with his own violin alapana after Nedunuri Krishnamoorthy had sung a soulful and imaginative Kapi alapana.
Kalpagam Swaminthan
Kalpagam Swaminthan is well into her 80s. But the age has not mellowed her passion for veena. The teacher par excellence is still willing to take on newer students! She was conferred the title Acharya Choodamani by Sri Krishna Gana Sabha in 2005. Noted musicologist Professor P. Sambamurthy once called her 'Saveri Kalpagam'.