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His flute sang dulcet tunes

TWO WEEKS ago, word was received in Chennai that Viswa had passed away in Middle Town, Connecticut, where he had served for several years as Professor of Music at Wesleyan University. He had been in indifferent health for some time, and had a "heart" condition. Even so, his friends in Chennai were greatly saddened by the news of his passing.

Viswa was a grandson of the legendary Veena Dhanammal, and brother of our "prima ballerina", Bharatanatyam dancer T. Balasaraswathi. The vocalist duo, Brinda and Muktha, were his first cousins. Carnatic music was in their blood.

Viswa was a fine vocalist, and could easily give a concert as a vocalist. When he played the flute, the instrument seemed to be singing too. Many of our prominent vidwans had been invited by Viswa to spend some time at Wesleyan. K. V. Narayanaswamy who passed away earlier this year, was one such; he was also a great admirer of Viswa. Violinist V. Thyagarajan was another close friend, and frequent visitor to Wesleyan.

Viswa had been planning to come to Chennai, as usual for the music season, and had even given the dates of his expected arrival. Sadly, that was not to be, I for one will miss his sweet music, the dulcet tunes he could evoke from the flute. I shall also miss a real friend, a man of high accomplishment and true humility.

C. V. NARASIMHAN

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