Mridangam vidwan in Chennai to be conferred prestigious award

Chennai: In what has come as a happy news to the city, one of its very own residents, mridangam vidwan Tanjore Ramadoss, residing at Mambalam, is to be conferred with the ‘Sangeetha Kala Acharya’ award.

The honour by Music Academy, Mylapore, is being bestowed for his ‘dedication and devotion to music’ for over five decades.

Speaking to ‘News Today’, he said,”I consider this as a blessing of God and I dedicate this honour to my beloved guru Palghat Mani Iyer. My journey with the mridangam started with my father late Ramamurthy Iyer, who was a vidwan himself at Tiruvarur.”

“After my initial training, I studied in a gurukulam with my guru,” continued Ramadoss who has been an accompanying musician with several other stalwarts like Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, DK Pattammal, DK Jayaraman, Veenai S Balachander, Lalgudi Jayaraman, Madurai TN Seshagopalan and now with vocalists like Sanjay Subramanian, TN Krishna.

He has also performed before acharyas like Kanchi Mahaperiyava and Srinigeri Sankaracharya.

About the gurukulam, Ramadoss briefed,”It is a way of life, where the disciples are taught not only music, but also good qualities like discipline, respecting elders and devotion. I enjoyed my every minute of stay with Palghat Mani Iyer, as he taught me the nuances of performing mridangam on stage.”

His residence at Burma Kanagambal Street in West Mambalam, houses several varieties of the instrument.

“I have over 30 with me. All of these are in good condition,” he noted.

When asked about rasikas, he said,”Getting a name from them is like writing and passing an examination, as most of them can identify the ragas. The ones in Tanjore and Palghat would not move out of their seats till the end of the programme, and offer spontaneous comments on the performance.”

The veteran musician who also teaches music at his home, stated,”Youngsters are quick to grasp the lessons, but they need a lot of space and time to master the art completely, which would take around seven years.”

He can be reached at 2489 2464.

NT Bureau