Artist Catalog

Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar

Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar

Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar (1890– January 23, 1967), popularly known as Ariyakudi, was a Carnatic music vocalist, born in Ariyakudi, a town in the Karaikudi district, present-day Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu. Ariyakudi developed a unique style of singing which came to be known as The Ariyakudi Tradition and is followed by his students. He established the modern katcheri (concert) traditions in Carnatic music.

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 friendship born out of mutual respect. Palghat Mani Iyer is reported to have said, "Anaa (Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar) and Iyengarval (Ariyakudi) are like my two eyes".

In 1954, he was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, the highest honour conferred by Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama. This was followed by Padma Bhushan by Government of India in 1958.
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