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Tuesday, Sep 27, 2022

The Carnatic maestro: T V Sankaranarayanan

TV Sankaranarayanan epitomised the classical grandeur of the Madurai Mani Iyer school

TVS was initiated into music by his mother, Gomathi.

His guru and maternal uncle Madurai Mani Iyer was one of the all-time greats of Carnatic music. But that formidable legacy did not weigh down T V Sankaranarayanan, who died on Friday at 77. “TVS” effortlessly carried on with the music of Madurai Mani Iyer and, over the course of time, became as popular as his uncle.

TVS was initiated into music by his mother, Gomathi. Soon, Madurai Mani Iyer took over the teaching and by the time TVS turned 12, he had started accompanying his uncle on stage. Madurai Mani Iyer let him develop an eclectic taste in music, encouraging him to listen to prominent musicians of his time. The 1950s and 60s were indeed a golden age for Carnatic music, with stalwarts such as Musiri Subramania Iyer, Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, Semmangudi Sreenivasa Iyer, G N Balasubramaniam, Brinda-Mukta sisters, S Ramanathan and M S Subbulakshmi, active in the concert circuit. TVS had his first solo concert in 1968. Madurai Mani Iyer died the same year, at the relatively young age of 56. But with the sound grounding provided by Mani Iyer as well as his own parents, in no time, TVS won over listeners, who spotted the finer aspects of the Madurai Mani Iyer school in his singing. In 2003, the Madras Music Academy bestowed on him the Sangita Kalanidhi. The same year the nation honoured him with Padma Bhushan.

At its best, TVS’s music reflected the festive spirit of the Carnatic concert, where laya and bhava come together to produce immense joy and exhilaration. T M Krishna said on TVS’s passing: “When I began singing, I so wished to sound like you. Your music was filled with passion, romance, flourish and unrestricted flow. You made me fall in love with this music.”

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First published on: 06-09-2022 at 03:50:24 am
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