Ariyakudi S Ramanuja Iyengar


Ariyakudi S Ramanuja Iyengar P
Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar (1890–1967) or more popularly simply called as Ariyakudi was born in Ariyakudi a town in the Karaikudi district of Tamil Nadu, South India in the year 1890. Ariyakudi was a Carnatic Music vocalist and is known for his unique style. He made his debut at Tyagaraja Aradhana in 1918. His unique style of singing came to be known as The Ariyakudi Tradition and is followed by his students.

The doyen of Carnatic Music, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer is known to have remarked "I was greatly influenced by Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar. I do not want another life. But if there is one, I want to be able to sing like Ramanuja Iyengar". And another maestro G N Balasubramaniam, a contemporary of Ariyakudi is known to have prostrated in front of him out of respect. With Palghat Mani Iyer, the Mridangam maestro, he formed a formidable partnership on the concert platform and a remarkable friendship born out of mutual respect.To him as to Mani Iyer, Ariyakkudi represented all that was best in music and hence he was music personified. GNB had earlier written one of the finest articles appreciating Ariyakkudi's music, titled, "The Hero as a Musician" and that can be taken to be the tribute of the all-time hero of Carnatic music to the greatest maestro in the field.

Ariyakudi learnt under Pudukottai Malayappa Iyer and Namakkal Narasimha Iyengar in his early years. Later he learnt for several years under Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar who was the senior most disciple of Pattanam Subramanium Iyer.

Ariyakudi's famous disciples include K V Narayanaswamy, B Rajam Iyer, Alappuzha Venkatesan and Madurai N Krishnan.

Achievements
  • "Sangeetha Kalanidhi" award (1938)
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1952)
  • "Isai Perarignar" (1950) by Tamil Isai Sangam, Chennai
  • "Gayaka Shikhamani" by Mysore darbar
  • Sangita Ratnakara by Vellore Sangeetha Sabha
  • "Sangita Kala Shikhamani" by Indian Fine Arts Society, Chennai
  • "Padma Bhushan" award by Indian Government in 1958
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