Song of Surrender

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Suguna Purushothaman passes away

A great artist and wonderful human being
By Samudri

Chennai, 25 February 2015

After a brave and prolonged battle, vidushi Suguna Purushothaman succumbed to cancer at Chennai, today. One of the best known disciples of Musiri Subramania Iyer (as well as Semmangudi Srinivasier), she was one of the most loved and sought after guru, besides being an accomplished concert artist and musicologist of a high order. She was known for her happy temperament, great sense of humour and ready wit.

At a concert-lecture on Musiri a couple of years ago, this is what she said: “The years I spent learning music from Musiri Subramania Iyer marked a golden period of my life.While attending one of his concerts, you forgot after the first few moments that he was singing or even that you were listening, so deep was the bliss of complete absorption in the music.” 

She often  gave lecture audiences samples of the Musiri way of niraval or swaram singing, with special emphasis on niraval, on how he stressed the importance of getting the lyric right, of choosing the best possible place in the song to do niraval even among a number of appropriate lines, of how vital the meaning of the lyric was to this choice. 


If her disciples loved her, Suguna adored them in equal measure. She was enormously proud of them, and enjoyed presenting lectures accompanied by her principal student K Gayatri.


Suguna Purushothaman will be missed by the world of Carnatic music. The void will be hard to fill. We salute her spirit and her devotion to music.


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