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R. Vedavalli

The reputed Carnatic Music exponent. 

  RV's photograph 
Smt Vedavalli being awarded the President's award by former President of India, Shri Shankar Dayal Sharma

 

Shrimati Vedavalli is  a performer, teacher, and researcher par excellence.  She is a fund of information, and an uncompromising adherent to tradition, with impeccable lineage. 

Browse these pages to know more about the sampradaya of music, and Vedavalli the performer, the guru, the mother, and the researcher.  

A brief bio-profile 

Born in Mannargudi, Tamil Nadu to Shri Ramaswami Iyengar and Padmasani Ammal.  Her talent for music was identified early by Sangita Kalanidhi Srirangam Iyengar, who bought the five-year-old a harmonium and got her started on vocal lessons.  The family shifted to Madras in a few years' time, and Vedavalli came under the tutelage of Sangita Kalanidhi Mudicondan Venkatarama Iyer.  From early in life, Vedavalli won several awards and prizes in prestigious competitions including All India Radio's first prizes for Classical Music and Light Classical Music, awarded by the President of India. 

She was a Central Government scholarship awardee and thus specialised in Padams and Javalis with Shmt Mukta, in Pallavi with Shri Mudicondan himself.  Although she had been giving performances since childhood, it was Shri Ariyakudi who advised her to turn 'professional' when he heard her sing as a 18-year old.  Since then, there has been no looking back for this gifted performer, who is today an 'A-top' graded artiste.  She has travelled the length and breadth of India, giving concerts and lecture-demonstrations, as also North America, South-East Asia and Far East, and the Gulf. 

Shmt Vedavalli served in the Teachers' College of Music of the Madras Music Academy for several years, before becoming Professor of Vocal Music in the Government College of Music, Adyar.  She has thus shared her deep knowledge and extensive repertoire with numerous students at these institutions, apart from training some privately.  Among her disciples today are accomplished performers, researchers, teachers and writers. 

Shmt Vedavalli is also an expert veena player, and has good command of Sanskrit, Telugu and Kannada, apart from her mother tongue Tamil, which helps her sing with artha bhava.  

Shmt Vedavalli lives in Chennai with her husband  
Shri D R Santhanam and daughter Kum Sushruti. 

 

Titles, Awards, prizes & Releases
Here's a bird's eye view of accolades won by Shmt RV, and of the papers she has presented

RV in concert

Titles, Awards and Accolades   

 

Year

Landmark

1955  Presented the "A.I.R Sangit Sammelan Award" in the All India Music Competition (Classical) by the First President of India Sri Babu Rajendra Prasad
1956  
 
  • Presented the "A.I.R Sangit Sammelan Award" in the Light Classical category
  • Presented gold medals by the Music Academy, Madras in Ragam-Tanam- Pallavi Competition, and in "Purandaradasa kritis" competition
1957-60  Awarded Government of India Cultural Scholarship to specialise in advanced music under Sri Mudicondan Venkataramier
1966  Adjudged the "Best Junior Lady Vocalist" by the Music Academy in its December Music festival
1971-72  
 
  • Awarded a fellowship by the Sangit Natak Academy, New Delhi for specialising in Padams and Javalis from Smt. T Mukta
  •  Presented with "Smt D K Pattammal Endowment Award for Best senior Vocalist", Music Academy, Madras
  •  Conferred the title of "Divya Gana Pravina" by her guru, in recognition of tuning and presenting Sri Vedanta Desika slokas in Sanskrit and Tamil, on the occasion of 700th Birth Centenary of the saint
1975  
 
Awarded a special scholarship by the Music Academy for specialising in rare kritis of Sri Muthuswamy Dikhshitar, under Kallidaikurichi Sri Mahadeva Bhagavatar
1977  Presented the "Best Deserving Senior Lady Vocalist" award at the Music Academy, Madras
1985  
 
  • Presented with the title "Sangita Choodamani" by Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Madras
  • Conferred with the title "Isai Arasi" by the Iyal Isai Nataka Mandram, Madras
  • Served as Convenor of lectures and demonstrations at the Gokulashtami Sangita Utsavam of Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, for three years
1986  
 
  • First recipient of the Senior Scholarship of the Government of India, Department of Culture, to pursue research on "Ragam, Tanam and Pallavi"
  •  Presented with the title "Swara Laya Sangita"
  • Honoured at the Annamacharya Jayanti Festival at Tirupati with a gold medal presented by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh
1987  Adjudged the "Best Senior Vocalist" by the Music Academy, Madras at its December festival
1991  
 
  • Presented a special cash award by Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Madras
  • Adjudged the "Best Senior Artiste" in the December festival of the Music Academy, Madras
1992 
  • Conferred the title "Divya Prabhanda Isai Mamani" by His Holiness Srirangam Srimad Andavan Swamigal
  • Presented with "Excellence in Vocational Service" award by the Rotary Club of Madras
  • Awarded scholarship by the Sangit Natak Academy, New Delhi to undertake a research project on the Temple Music of "Mallari"
  • Presented with the title "Ganakala Bharati" from Narada Gana Sabha, Madras
  • Presented a 13-episode programme on Tamil Musicians (Tamizhaga Isai Mahangal) on Doordarshan, Madras
1993  First recipient of gold medal endowed in memory of Sri Vinjimuri Varadaraja Iyengar, presented to a senior vocalist for singing the "Best Ragam, Tanam, Pallavi"
1995  
 
  • Presented with the title "Tingal Chudar" by the Monday Charity Club, in recognition of being the best Lady Musician
  • Conferred with the title "Gayaka Kulatilaka Kalpalatha" by His Holiness Srimad Andavan
  • Received the prestigious "Kalaimamani" award from the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
1996 Best Musician Award of the Sangit Natak Academy presented by the President of India
Ongoing assignments  
 
  • Member of the Syllabus Committee of the Faculty of Music, Annamalai University for three years now
  • Serving the "Experts’ Advisory Committee" of the Music Academy, Madras for over fifteen years now
  • Professor-Emeritus appointed by the Department of Culture and Human Resource Development, Government of India
1998 Titles from Lalita Kala Vedika and Sundaraja Trust, Chennai

Papers, Articles and Lectures  
 
Select List Of Papers And Features Presented by Vidushi R Vedavalli   

Nal Oru Ragam’  Exposition on thirty ragas broadcast over All India Radio, Coimbatore presented as one raga a day
Adi Sankara’  Musical feature produced for and broadcast by All India Radio, Madras
Nauka Charitram’ of Sri Tyagaraja  Musical Opera produced for All India Radio, Madras
‘Skandapuranam’  Lecture-demonstration presented in various sabhas in Madras and subsequently presented in A.I.R as an opera
Guru Guho Jayati’  Feature on the first compositions of Sri Muthuswamy Dikhshitar, presented in various city sabhas and the A.I.R
Venkatamahi and his prabhandas and gitas  Feature presented first at Music Academy, Madras, and later in All India Radio, and adapted extensively by leading Bharata Natyam exponents in recitals
Some important landmarks in Carnatic Music  Paper published in the journal of the Music Academy, Madras
Utsava Sampradaya kritis of Sri Tyagaraja  Lecture-demonstration presented widely
Evolution of ragas in general, and Todi in particular  Lecture-demonstration presented in sabhas and also published as a paper
Ragas in Carnatic Music  Lecture-demonstration presented in sabhas
Nava Vidha Bhakti’  Lecture-demonstration presented in sabhas
Nava Rasa Rama’  Lecture-demonstration presented in sabhas
Sri Tyagaraja and Ambal  Paper presented in sabha souvenir
Sri Purandaradasa  Lecture-demonstration and paper presented
Sri Tyagaraja and Todi  Lecture-demonstration presented in sabhas
Padams and Javalis  Lecture-demonstration and paper presented
Evolution of Indian Music and ragas from ancient times  Paper presented in annual journal of Vivekananda kendra
Musical traditions of India  Lecture-demonstration presented in sabhas
Tillana- its technical evolution in Music  Lecture-demonstration presented in sabhas
Pre-trinity compositions  Lecture-demonstration and paper presented
Sollin Selvan - 1 hour feature on Anjaneya Feature presented on All India Radio, Chennai
Nachiyar Tirumozhi 18-part programme presented at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai

Chitra Vasudevan

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