Exponent in many ways
A musician, musicologist, harikatha exponent and a composer, Mannargudi Sambasiva Bhagavathar served the cause of Carnatic Music for over six decades, up to the age of 92. He served Sri Thiagaraja Vidwat Samajam in several capacities and was Life Trustee, Chairman and Executive Trustee.
A disciple of Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer in music and Sri Madurai Narayana Bhagavathar and Saraswathy Bai in Harikatha, he performed more than 1,000 music concerts and 7,000 harikaha performances all over India.
A composer since his 14th year, Bhagavathar composed more than 3,000 songs in many languages for Harikatha Nirupanam and also different musical forms such as Geetham, Krithi, Javali, Thillana and Ragamalika. His sahityams are compiled and published as `Sangeetha Ratna Mala.' The compositions have been recorded on CDs and cassettes. `Nirajadalanayana' in raga `Maand' is a composition popularised by his Guru Sri Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer.
He served as a lecturer in Kathakalakshepam in the Tamil Nadu Government College of Music, Chennai, and as an Inspector of Music and Dance Schools for the Tamil Nadu Iyal Isai Nataka Mandram. He has trained many students in the art of music and Harikatha kalakshepam. He trained more than 600 students in vocal music spread all over India. M. Chandrasekaran, K. V. Krishnan, Jaya Krishnan and Lalitha Alladi Ramakrishnan are a few of his disciples. In Harikatha his students are Suseela Achutharaman, Gowri Rajagopal, Syamala Ramcharan and others.
A recipient of Kalaimamani he has received many other awards and titles such as `Harikatha Kalakshepa Jyoti,' `Katharathnakara,' `Sangeetha Sahithya Jyothi,' and so on. Three cassettes containing his compositions were released two years ago. M. Chandrasekaran, Jayakrishnan, K.V. Krishnan, Namagiri Ramesh and P. V. Geetha have rendered the songs. A CD of Muthuswamy Dikshitar Charithram by Sambasiva Bhagavathar was released two years ago.
The veteran's death anniversary is being observed on December 11. At the function to be held at Sri Thiagaraja Vidwat Samajam, Sri Ramana Charithram, Seetha Kalyanam and Sri Purandara Dasar charithram CD will be released. Madurai R Rajaram will render the Bhagavatar's Sahityam supported by R. Vijayalakshmi (grand daughter of Sri Mannargudi Sambasiva Bhagavathar).
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