S.Rajam’s (Music Appreciation notes)

Saturday, 15 December 2018

C Saraswathi Bai

Birthdays & Anniversaries

Saraswati Bai was one of the few women artists Bai And The Music Academy C. who performed at the All India Music Conference held in conjunction with the All India Congress Session of 1927. Her name, spelt as ‘C. Saraswathi Bhai’, appears in the list of artists.

The Music Academy arose from this conference and was established in 1928. Almost from inception, Bai took a keen interest in its affairs and by 1931 had become a member of the Experts Committee. In 1931, when Harikesanallur L. Muthiah Bhagavatar became the President of the Academy’s Annual Conference, Bai gave a detailed talk on the subject of Harikatha which was later published in the Journal of the Music Academy that year. She was to continue presenting papers at the Academy’s Annual Conferences for at least the next ten years. Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar and K. Ponniah Pillai were to refer admiringly to the lectures she delivered in the years they presided over the annual conferences. A rare photograph in the possession of S. Thyagarajan, Musiri Subramania Iyer’s grand-nephew, shows Bai along with Bangalore Nagarathnammal and Mrs. S. Satyamurthy seated at the R.R. Sabha listening to Musiri Subramania Iyer speaking when he became the President of the Academy’s annual conference in 1939.

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