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Famous Carnatic Composers - TV


Tiger Varadachariar - Tiger Varadachariar hailed from a musical family of unique distinction. His father Ramanujachariar was a musical discourser, brother K.V. Srinivasa Ayyangar was a renowned musicologist while another brother K.V.Krishnamachariar was a veena player. In fact, Tiger used to say that he learnt much from the singing of his sister. Varadachariar was born on August 1, 1876 at Kolathur. Varadachariar's receptive ears and musical instincts drew inspiration and knowledge from street dramas, bhajans and even from occasional contacts such as with Fiddle Ramachandrayyar. He was big, burly and unprepossessing. This exterior housed a genial and lovable man, a brilliant musicologist, a musical artiste and an acknowledged teacher of renown. Music was not then prosperous from the economic view-point and the father wanted to keep his sons - all mad with music - away from it. But the inevitable happened. Photo Masilamani and Pedda Singaracharyulu encouraged Varadachariar in his musical pursuits and Varadachariar was with the venerable Patnam Subramania Ayyar for three years from the age of fourteen. Constraints of family forced young Varadachariar to enter the Survey Department at Calicut on Rupees twelve per mensem. Survey of lands did not deter the youth's pursuit for excellence and survey of music.

When he was at Mysore, he attracted the attention of Krishnaraja Wodeyar, who honoured him with the title of 'Tiger' and presented him with a 'thoda'. It was unique that in spite of a gruff voice, the 'Tiger' strode like a colossus for decades and extracted respect and honour with his superlative knowledge and universally accepted teaching acumen. As a musician, his voice lacked melody, ring and delicacy. But one can see in him 'a treasure house of varied musical gems of rare brilliance'. His flights of imagination were unlimited. His deep singing produced massive effect on the audience. Brikas, gamakas and graces would bristle out defying his unresponsive voice. He was a good composer of varnams, gitam, kritis, etc. 'Eediname Sudinamu' was composed by him when C.Rajagopalachariar visited Kalkshetra in 1948 as Governor General. 'Nidu Charanamule' (Simhendramadyamam) under the signature of Tyagaraja is actually a composition of the 'Three musketeers of Kaladipet', the Tiger Brothers.

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updated on 03/21/2009