S.Rajam’s (Music Appreciation notes)

Friday, 4 January 2019

Tanjavur S Kalyanaraman

Who’s Who in Classical Music

Born in a musically inclined family at Thiruvengadu near Mayavaram to N. Srinivasa Iyer and wife, S. Kalyanaraman had his initial music training under his father.  Kalyanaraman, a GNB fan from an early age, tried to sing in the GNB bani before eventually becoming GNB’s disciple, after a music teacher, Kittamani Iyer, recognising the lad’s unusual talent, introduced him to GNB. GNB taught him for 15 years.
An outstanding talent honed by GNB, Kalyanaraman, died in his prime, just like his guru and some of his fellow disciples. Musician S Rajam rated him as the most intelligent of GNB’s sishyas, known for his discussions with his guru even as a student. He was a particularly creative musician, with a penchant for Hindustani ragas among other things.
Following his guru’s advice not to try to be his carbon copy, Kalyanaraman came to be known for his original manodharma, evolving his own style even as a keen follower of the GNB bani, repeatedly drawing his guru’s praise in the process. Even before his concert debut in 1949, he impressed audiences with his excellent pinpattu for GNB, who encouraged him by giving him many openings to showcase his creativity. From then on, S. Kalyanaraman's rise in Carnatic music was phenomenal.
Kalyanaraman ventured freely into vivadi ragas and was a composer of merit, his unique songs including creations in panchama varja dv—madhyama ragas.
Noted among his disciples were his wife Bhushany Kalyanaraman, Prof. Gowri Kuppuswamy, Brinda Venkataramanan and Anuradha Sriram.
The SKR Trust, established by Bhushani Kalyanaraman promotes his music and his legacy. A documentary of his life and work "The Sunaadha Vinodhan" was released as a DVD in the Kalakendra Sanskriti series.

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