Saturday, November 28, 2009
Sri Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar born on May 19th 1890, in the village of Ariyakudi in Ramnad District, had his early training under the tutelage of Pudukottai Malayappa Ayer and later under Namakkal Narasimha Iyengar a pallavi exponent of the yesteryears. He underwent intense gurukulavasam under Ramnad Srinivasa Iyengar, popularly referred to as Poochi Iyengar who shaped his musical thought process. Sri Ariyakudi belonged to the Sishya Parampara of the saint composer Thyagaraja, enabling him to popularize the compositions of the saint. He was considered to be the architect of the modern concert tradition which continues to hold good even today. His genius could be attributed to short crisp raga alapanas, phenomenal kalapramana, and nereval which had a lovely grace and charm about it in the sarvalaghu pattern. A legend by any count he left a profound impact in the minds of even a purist. His contribution to carnatic music is invaluable in terms of setting to tune the Tirupavais of Sri Andal( at the request of his highness Sri Late Chandrashekara Saraswathi Swamigal of kanchi),a few devarnamas of Purandaradasa, a few tharangams of Narayana Theertha and Ramanatakam of Arunachala Kavirayar. Also a composer of two thillanas in the ragas Kanada and Bilahari. Disciples of the Ariyakudi include Late Sri K.V Narayanaswami, Late Sri B.Rajam Iyer, and surving disciple Sri Alleppy Venkateshan.