S.Rajam’s (Music Appreciation notes)

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

T Chowdiah

Birthdays & Anniversaries

Only a few Carnatic musicians have managed to have a long, consistent and glamorous record of stardom. Mysore T. Chowdiah (1894- 1967) was one of them. A violinist of top rank, he had a glowing career spanning five decades and he commanded the respect of the lay public, the connoisseurs and his peers in the performing arts. It was a ride on a rainbow.

A contemporary of such other violin greats as Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu and Kumbakonam  Rajamanickam Pillai, Chowdiah assumed many roles in the music world. Besides being a concert artist, he was an innovator, a teacher, an organiser, a composer and a thespian—he donned grease paint and acted in a movie titled VanL But his role par excellence rested squarely on his incomparable skills in providing violin accompaniment. He not only embellished the music of his principal, but himself played delightful music when his turn came, according to Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar. With him as sideman, there was never a dull moment. He induced and stimulated the main artist's creativity and played a significant part in the overall success of the concert. To every concert he took part in, he brought his vast experience and always served a sumptuous fare. He zealously guarded him as accompanist could not fail.

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