Composers and Musicians

Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar

Sangeeta Ratnakara Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar is one of the most significant Carnatic musicians of the 20th century. He was the most sought after concert artist in the carnatic music world. He designed the kutcheri or concert format as we experience today.
Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar was born in a small village called Ariyakudi in Tamilnadu on 19th May, 1890 into a family of astrolegers. He was the third son of Thiruvengadam Iyengar and Chellammal. But his father realizing the inclination of the boy towards music , send him for training in music.He studied under Malayappa Iyer, then Namakkal Narasimha Iyengar and Ramnad Srinivasa Iyengar.
By 1920s he established himself as a front ranking vocalist and pioneered the format of the modern day cutcheri. He set a structure of a concert and fixedan order of compositions to be presented. Though he was a traditionalist, Ariyakkudi could bring in changes suited to the modern times. He had put in a lot of effort to popularize Carnatic music and brought music to common man from temples and durbars.
Vellore Sangeeta Sabha conferred on him the title Sangeeta Ratnakara in 1932, Sangeetha Kalanidhi by Madras Music Academy in 1938 and Gayaka Shikhamani by Mysore Durbar. His principle disciples were B. Rajam Iyer and K. V. Narayanaswamy.

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