Artist Highlight

R Vedavalli

An hour of music by senior musician, teacher, and expert at pallavi, Sangeeta Kalanidhi R Vedavalli.

0:57:53
RJ: Mangala

R Vedavalli

An hour of music by senior musician, teacher, and expert at pallavi, Sangeeta Kalanidhi R Vedavalli.

R Vedavalli was born on November 9, 1935. Her talent for music was identified early on by Madurai Srirangam Iyengar, who brought the five-year-old a harmonium, and got her started on vocal lessons. The family moved to Madras in a few years' time, and Vedavalli came under the tutelage of Mudicondan Venkatarama Iyer. From a very young age, Vedavalli won several awards in prestigious competitions including All India Radio's first prize for Classical Music and Light Classical Music, awarded by the President of India. In 2000, she received the Sangeetha Kalanidhi, which is considered the highest award in Carnatic music. She is one of the few women to have received this honor.

She received a Central Government scholarship to specialize in Padams and Javalis with T Muktha, and in Pallavis with Venkataramana Iyer. Though she has performed since childhood, it was Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar who advised her to turn into a professional musician, when he heard her sing as an 18 year old. Vedavalli served in the Teacher's College of Music of the Madras Music Academy for several years before becoming Professor of Vocal Music in the Government College of Music Adyar.

Vedavalli is also trained in playing the veena, and has a good command over Sanskrit, Telugu, Kannada and Tamil, which helps her sing with greater understanding or artha bhava.

Image Courtesy: Ramanathan N Iyer

Songs in this Program