life of Swathi Thirunal was an offering in music to God. A rare renaissance
personality, Swathi Thirunal was a king among musicians and musician among
kings. His musical compositions and his life were a mutual translation of
his devotion to LordPadmanabha, the presiding deity of the Travancore Royal
Thirunal Rama Varma
was a progressive ruler who lived ahead of his times and was committed to
the welfare of the people. Being an able administrator his far sighted reforms
were responsible for introducing modern medicine, English education and a
humane judicial system in Kerala.... More>>>>
Composers and Musicians
Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar was born on September 1896 at Chembai village,
Palakkad, Kerala. A great grandson of Chakratana Subba Aiyar, who was a contemporary
of the musical trinity, and son of Chembai Anantha Bhagavatar, young Vaidyanathan
had inborn talent for music. Chembai alongwith his brother Subramaniam learnt
music from his father Anantha Bagavathar. Chembai's father Anantha Bagavathar
was a talented vocalist & violinist. The Chembai brothers had their first
concert in 1905 at a temple festival in a town called Ottapalam in Palakkad.
One of the landmarks in the early career of the brothers was their concerts
at the temple festivals in Vaikom and Guruvayur.
Chembai's first concert in Madras was in 1918 at the Triplicane Sangeeta Sabha.
Chembai's concert career took a further upswing after this concert and he
gave several performances all over the south. Chembai's career as vocalist
spanned over 70 years, starting in 1904. Perhaps, the longest for any musician
of the South. With his rich vibrant voice and a ringing tone, Chembai's music
had a direct appeal to his listeners.
A few of the honours bestowed on Chembai are 'Padma Bhushan' bestowed by the
President of India, theSangeet Natak Akademi award, Gyana Gandharva, Sangeeta
Samrat, Sangeetha Kalanidhi, etc. Among his famous disciples is K.J. Yesudas.
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