Tribute

Palani Subramania Pillai

A tribute to the percussion maestro in connection with his birth anniversary on April 20.

1:05:17
RJ: Srividya

Palani Subramania Pillai

A tribute to the percussion maestro in connection with his birth anniversary on April 20.

Palani Subramania Pillai, a leading exponent of the Pudukottai school of mridangam playing, was known for his sensitive, nuanced playing. The left-handed Palani could play the khanjira equally well and, in fact, played this instrument in several concerts along with Palghat Mani Iyer on the mridangam. He made his debut in 1923 as an accompanist to Mannargudi Rajagopala Iyer and impressed several established musiicans, including Veena Dhanammal.

Though the Tanjavur school of Palghat Mani Iyer was at the forefront, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar gave the young Subramania Pillai many opportunities to accompany him in concerts. He also guided Pillai in becoming a more nuanced performer. He went on to accompany the Alathur Brothers for most of their concerts. Palani Subramania Pillai encouraged many young musicians and also taught several disciples.

The photo on the left shows Palani Subramania Pillai at a concert with the Alathur Brothers (www.palanisubramaniapillai.org).

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