Valoothoor aunty

As he started accompanying musicians at a very young age, Ramamurthy says he has had the rare distinction of playing for several generations of musicians.

The list reads like a veritable who’s who and ranges from Marungapuri Gopalakrishna Iyer, Karur Chinnnasami Iyer, Semmangudi Narayanaswamy Iyer, Karaikudi Sambasiva Iyer, Palladam Sanjeeva Rao, Kumbakonam Rajamanickam Pillai, Alathur Brothers, Chembai, Musiri Subramania Iyer, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, GNB, T.

Chowdiah, Dandapani Desigar, MS, DKP, MLV, Madurai Somu, S.

Balachander, Maharajapuram Santhanam, Lalgudi Jayaraman, M.

Ramamurthy received the title “Vaadhya Padmam” conferred by the Brahma Gana Sabha, Chennai on 3 December during the inauguration of its December Art Festival 2014.

Ramamurthy has more than 70 years of experience as a mridangam artist; and was preferred by many senior vidwans for his gentle and dignified mridangam accompaniment. In a year’s time he got opportunities to accompany stalwarts like Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer, and flautist Palladam Sanjeeva Rao. He later received advanced training from mridangam maestro Tanjavur Vaidyanatha Iyer. Aunt Veenabhashini was a famous exponent of Sadir/ Bharatanatyam, and father-in-law Tirukadayur Chinnayya Pillai a versatile tavil vidwan. He also recalls with pride how the Kanchi Paramacharya asked for an encore of his tani avartanam when he played in his presence at Kaladi.Ramamurthy’s mridangam classes began at the age of nine with Bhairavam Pillai and he made his debut when he was 12. Sankaranarayanan, Geetha Bennet, Mandolin Shrinivas, to T. Ramamurthy is the recipient of several awards including the prestigious Kalaimamani award from the Tamil Nadu Eyal Isai Nataka Manram (1981), Isai-k-Kadal from Karaikudi Tamil Isai Sangam (1983), Mridanga Selvam from Muthamizh Peravai (1987), Laya Vadya Ratnam from Sri Sadguru Tyagabrahma Aradhana Trust, Tiruchi (2002), Madhura Kala Nipuna from Laya Madhuraa, Chennai (2011), and the TTK Award from the Music Academy, Madras (2013).

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