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Profiles of Artistes, Composers, Musicologists
Unless otherwise specified, the profiles in this section are from
The Garland, Another Garland, Yet Another Garland and The Fragrant Garland by Mr.N.Rajagopalan
M.S.GOPALAKRISHNAN - VIOLINIST.............(b. June 10, 1931)
One of the top violinists of the day, M.S.Gopalakrishnan was born in a family of violinists. Son of Parur Sundaram Ayyar and brother of M.S.Anantharaman(Sr.) - both violinists - Gopalakrishnan is an eminent soloist, an accomplished accompanist and an exponent of both Carnatic and Hindustani systems. The legacy of drawing on the finer ingredients of Hindustani music was inherited from his father and developed to the highest degree of fine art by him. The happy shades and blend that he now and then presents are relished much by music-lovers. He revels as a soloist and is a pleasing accompanist. He is unsurpassed in playing tanam is exemplary in neravals - spacing and phrasing. If the audience indicates a desire, he could satisfy them with multi-sided, exhibitionistic play or chaste classical carnatic music. The tonal effects he presents are enchanting. The wide variety of expressions and capabilities of the violin are beautifully brought out by M.S.Gopalakrishnan with irresistible appeal and emotional content to shade varying subtleties and evocative nuances. His crisp play rarely indulges in laboured 'sancharas'. One of the top violinists with international appeal.
Titles :
Sangita Kalanidhi by The Music Academy, Chennai

T.V.Gopalakrishnan comes from a musical family and was born at Tirupunithurai. His father T.G.Viswanatha Bhagavathar was a musician to Cochin Royalty and Professor of Music, S.K.V.College, Trichur. A disciple of Palghat Anantarama Bhagavathar and a versatile vocalist and instrumentalist, he shaped his son in his impressible years to flower into a top artiste.

At the age of four, Gopalakrishnan would play on mridangam and at the age of nine, he had accompanied the renowned Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar on mridangam. At the age of six, he had sufficient proficiency in the art and ability to make his debut at the Cochin Palace before Lord and Lady Linlithgow. Since 1949, he has been giving hundreds of concerts - vocal or instrumental - on the AIR, in sabhas and elsewhere. A Bachelor of Commerce, he entered the office of the Accountant General but music established its sway over him so completely that he resigned his job and aligned himself with music true to the family legacy to give expression to his own innate talents. Has undergone training in music therapy and attended workshops, etc., at San Francisco in 1985.

He takes the credit for being the first vocalist who performed with equal felicity both in Carnatic and Hindustani classical music. His first Hindustani concert was in 1969 at the Music Academy, Chennai. He is also the first artiste who gives successful concerts as a vocalist, violinist and on mridangam besides mastery in Hindustani system of music. He has mastered concert techniques and could satisfy the pure classicist and the modernist. He has excellent rapport with the musicians and the public. He has brought a rich crop of disciples to prominence like K.J.Yesudoss, Illayaraja, Rajkumar Bharati, etc. besides a number of others from abroad.
Compositions :
Varnams, Kritis, etc.
Titles :
Sangita Laya Samrat
Gana Kala Bharati
Sangita Vidya Ratna
Kerala State Award, etc.

SRIRANGAM GOPALARATNAM - VOCALIST.............(c. 1939 - March 16, 1993)
A multi-faceted vocalist who enjoyed a melodius voice, Gopalaratnam distinguished herself in the exposition of Kuchipudi, Yakshagana, Javali and Yenki Patalu (a rare variety of Andhra). She had taken active part in the Bhakthi Ranjani programmes of All India Radio. Had set to tune Annamacharya compositions. She has held posts as Artiste, All India Radio, Principal-Government Music College, Hyderabad, Professor & Dean - Telugu University (Faculty of Music)

Gopalaratnam enjoyed many 'firsts' to her credit such as -
a. being honoured with the Presidential title 'Padma Sri'
b. acting as Principal, Government College of Music & Dance, Hyderabad and as professor and Dean of the Faculty of Music, Telugu University
c. being made Asthana Vidushi, Tirumalai Tirupati Devasthanams.
A child prodigy, she gave Harikathas also. Daughter of Varadachari and Subhadramma, she was born at Pushpagiri in Vizianagaram taluk and underwent training in music under Kavirayaneri Joga Rao, a vainika and Dr. S. Pinakapani. She came of a family belonging to Srirangam and had taken a diploma in music in 1956.
Madura Gayaki

SEERKAZHI Dr.S.GOVINDARAJAN - VOCALIST.............(1933 - March 24, 1988)

He was a familiar figure for over three decades - with his bright face, smiling countenance, well-marked, orthodox sacred ash on the forehead, well combed hair and the appearance of a dignified modern gentleman with spiritualism radiating from his honest face. He had a clear, resonant and sweet voice; his rendering was chaste, traditional, sincere and well-phrased; his delivery was thoughtful, thought-provoking, dedicated and emotional bringing out the thoughts of the composer with conviction and effect and his rapport with the audience was complete and total. The place that gave the canonised Saint Tirugnanasambandar gave him too. His concerts were very well attended. He was heard with rapt attention. His music percolated to the corners of South India and outside through gramaphone discs, cassettes, AIR, Television, films, etc. He was the first artiste to win the 'Golden Record' for the record sales of his discs. He was perhaps the first to give concerts with tamil songs alone. He was the first Indian artiste to be recorded by the BBC. His special song to commemorate the royal wedding of Prince Charles was recorded by the BBC.

He won the 'Rajaji Tambura' for rendering the songs of Gopala Krishna Bharati at the Tamil Isai Sangam, three gold medals from the Music Academy, Chennai and gold medals from the Rasika Ranjani Sabha, etc. He was the favourite disciple of Tiruppambaram Swaminatha Pillai, the renowned flautist. He mastered the nuances, intricacies and subtleties and acquired a vast repertoire and with his expressive voice and sruti fidelity, his music presented a fine blend of the virtuous and the melodic.

He was selected as the 'Best Play-back Singer' in 1971 by the TamilNadu Govt.; and he had acted in 12 films. He was the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Head of the department of Music, Annamalai University. Was Hony.Principal, Tamil Isai College of Music, Chennai.

Titles :
Kalaimamani by Tamilnadu Eyal Isai Nataka Mandram in 1975
Gambeera Gana Mani by Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Sankarachariar in 1977
Isai Selvam by Muthamizh Peravai, Chennai in 1980
Miyan Tansen Award by Dhrupad Society, New Delhi in 1980
Central Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 1980
State Artiste of TamilNadu Govt. in 1980
Isai Perarignar by Tamil Isai Sangam, Chennai in 1982
Padma Sri by The President of India in 1983
Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa) by University of Madras in 1983

Born on 21.4.1929 at Tiruponithura in Kerala of Kamalam and Krishna Rao, Govinda Rao had his first lessons in music under his cousin, Mani Bhagavatar. He was in the first batch of students at the Central College of Music, Chennai. The Principal then was Shri Musiri Subramania Ayyar. Along with his training in college, he was also simultaneously under the tutelage of Shri Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar. After his training he has been giving concerts extensively in India and abroad. He was a lecturer at the Central College of Carnatic Music, Chennai and later Producer of All india Radio, Chennai and Chief producer AIR, Delhi. He retired in 1990. He has come out with a book - Varnamanjari comprising 27 varnas, Kshetra kirtanas of Tyagaraja on Tripati, Kanchipuram and Tiruvayaru fully notated along with Shri S.Rajam. He has toured several countries - USA, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, SriLanka and Mangolia. He has received various titles & honours, a few of which are - Sangita Sastra Ratnakara in 1968 by Sri Mouna Swamigal, Chennai ; Gana Kala Thilakam in 1972 by Sri Rama Seva Mandali, Malleswaram ; Gana Nadakanal in 1985 by Nadakanal, Chennai ; Sangita Choodamani in 1988 by Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai.