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Music keeps me young, says mridangam maestro

Mridangam exponent Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman was conferred ‘The Living Legend’ award by the Rotary Club of Madras, T. Nagar, on Thursday.

Governor K. Rosaiah, who presented the award, said the greatness of an artiste lies in not just his performances but also in taking it to the younger generation.


Governor K. Rosaiah presented ‘The Living Legend’ award to Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman. Photo: M. Vedhan

“He has trained hundreds of students in India and abroad, explaining the nuances and techniques of music to his disciples. It is befitting to honour this great legend with such an award,” he said.

In a career spanning over 68 years, the mridangam exponent had established a style of his own and carved a niche in the field of music covering the entire gamut of percussion music, the governor said.

Mr. Sivaraman said music kept him young and energetic. “It has been nearly 69 years since I began playing the mridangam. Music gives me the spiritual energy to pursue this passion,” he said.

N. Murali, co-chairman of Kasturi & Sons Ltd. and president of The Music Academy, said Mr. Sivaraman had accompanied the doyens of Carnatic music and also younger artistes.

Source: THE HINDU December 6, 2014

Umayalpuram Sivaraman honoured at fine arts festival

The funds allocated for the development of fine arts in the country are too meagre, said Leela Samson, chairman of Sangeet Natak Akademi, at the inauguration of Mudhra’s 19th Fine Arts Festival at Ramakrishna Mission School on Friday.


Leela Samson, chairman of Sangeet Natak Akademi, presents the Mudhra Award of Excellence to mridangam exponent Umayalpuram Sivaraman. Also seen is Nalli Kuppusami Chetti. Photo: B. Jothi Ramalingam

“I hope, someday, the nation wakes up and artistes’ voices come out as one,” Ms. Samson said. She emphasised the need for a national archives for music and drama and digitisation of arts.

On the occasion, mridangam exponent Umayalpuram Sivaraman was conferred the Mudhra Award of Excellence.

“You cannot even see his hands move but amazing complex rhythms come out (of his mridangam). As a dancer, it moved me to see that the movement of his hands were the essential minimum; yet the greatest music emerged from it,” Ms. Samson said. Mr. Sivaraman said Carnatic music should be taken to a global level.

The fine arts festival will be held from December 6 to January 5 at Infosys Hall in Ramakrishna Mission School.

On Friday, the inaugural ceremony was followed by a concert by violinist duo Ganesh-Kumaresh.


THE HINDU Dated December 7, 2013.

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