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Sri Semmangudi R. Srinivasa Iyer


Semmangudi R. Srinivasa Iyer (b.1908) is hailed as the Sangita Pitamaha of the Carnatic music. He has been singing for 72 years and has left his own deep impression on the Carnatic music. He showed an aptitude and interest in music from a very young age. He started receiving music training from the age of nine from distinguished musical stalwarts like Sri Semmangudi Narayanaswami Iyer, Sakharama Rao, Sri Umayalpuram Swaminatha Iyer and Sri Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer. Semmangudi's rise to fame was quite meteoric. In the late 1930s he was considered as one of the front line vocalists of the period and in 1947, the Music Academy of Madras awarded him the title Sangeetha Kalanidhi. During his illustrious career, Semmangudi held many notable positions. In 1939 he was made Asthana Vidwan (resident musician) of the Travancore Palace in Kerala and joined the Swati Tirunal Music Academy in Trivandrum in 1941. He soon became the Principal of this institution and was there till 1963. From the period 1956-59 he also served as Chief Producer of Carnatic Music at All India Music, Madras. Part of his role at the Swati Tirunal Academy was to revive the compositions of Maharaja Swati Tirunal. He has brought out two publications, which give the notation to over 200 of Swati Tirunal's compositions. The music of Semmangudi has certain magnetism about it. Semmangudi�s repertoire consists of some 800 compositions. He has sung varnams in his concerts on a few occasions but generally chooses to commence with a krithi in Mayamalavagowla or a Ganapathi krithi. His brilliant exposition of Kharaharapriya raga led people to refer to him as 'Kharaharapriya Srinivasa Iyer'.


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