Aalaap

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

L. Muthiah Bhagavatar

Birthdays & Anniversaries

15.11.1877 - 30.6.1945
Harikesanallur L. Muthiah Bhagavatar was something of a Superman in Carnatic music. His life is very difficult to condense into a short account for there were so many remarkable achievements in it. He overcame adverse circumstances to become a musician. He began his professional career as a vocalist who had also specialized in playing the mridanga and the gottuvadyam. He later switched to Harikatha and it was in that field that he acquired great fame. He was the moving spirit behind great music festivals in two locations in Madras Presidency for many years. He was a catalyst in the success of a series of pathbreaking music conferences in Tanjavur for two years. Somewhere in between he created new raga-s, imported several from Hindustani music and composed many songs in many forms such as kriti-s, varnam-s and tillana-s.

He founded a music school, was the Principal of two respected educational institutions and played a key role in bringing Swati Tirunal's works to the forefront of the concert arena. He wrote a major treatise on music which earned him the distinction of being the first musician to get a doctorate (and a genuine one at that). He moved with kings and commoners with equal ease all of whom loved him for his wit, his magnificent personality and his erudition. He earned enormous amounts and spent them on a luxurious lifestyle. He was also supremely generous, giving large amounts to causes that took his fancy. In short he was truly magnificent and his life was one exciting roller coaster journey. There was never a dull moment.

To read full story, visit sruti.com and buy Sruti 242

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