NAMAGIRIPETTAI KRISHNAN - THE PASSING AWAY OF A VETERAN
|Namagiripettai Krishnan was one of the most popular Nagaswara vidwans in recent times. A veteran with over 5 decades of experience, his demise on April 30, 2001, at a private hospital following a cardiac arrest, is indeed an irreparable loss for Carnatic music. It is with deep sorrow that Carnatica brings you this obituary.||
|Namagiripettai Krishnan was born on
April 2, 1924 to Kunjammal and Kathan. He had his initial training under his father and
grandfather, Chinnappa Mudaliar. He underwent further training under Arupukottai Ganesa
Pillai. Very soon, Krishnan made a mark with his Nagaswara prowess. A highly respected
vidwan, he was featured in several prominent festivals in India and abroad and has also
been the recipient of numerous awards including the Padma Bhushan, Sangeeth Natak
Akademi Award and an honourary doctorate. He has also played in numerous films. Not many
are aware of the fact that he was also proficient in playing the violin.
Tributes from others:
Seshampatti Sivalingam, Nagaswara vidwan: Namagiripettai
Krishnan was an excellent vidwan of the previous generation and an excellent human being.
He was a very nice, simple and lovable man. I have great regard for him. I have been to
his house several times for various reasons. When I would sit down on the floor as a mark
of respect, he would compel me to sit on the chair. A simple man with a lot of equanimity.
When I heard the news of his death I was very upset and could not control my tears. The
music field has certainly lost a very great musician.
A Natarajan, Former Director of Doordarshan:
Namagiripettai is in Salem district. In those days, only people from Tanjavur district
were very knowledgeable in music. So it was unusual that a person from Namagiripettai
became a great Nagaswara vidwan. Krishnan was interested in Vocal music too. He learnt
vocal music from Mahalakshmi Ammal as he wanted to 'sing' with his Nagaswaram. He also
learnt Telugu so as to have knowledge of the kritis that he played. Many Tavil Vidwans
have accompanied him and he also toured in US, UK, Russia, Srilanka, and South-east Asian
countries. His performances on AIR and Doordarshan were also memorable. His favorite
ragas were Kalyanavasantam, Kalyani, Revati etc. He has played for many films too.
Once T N Rajaratnam Pillai asked him to sit with him and play
Nagaswaram along with him. He told the audience that Krishnan was like 'Ekalyva' for
considering him his guru, and then passed a witty comment that he would however not ask
for his thumb!
Mambalam M K S Siva, Nagaswara Vidwan: Namagiripettai Krishnan established a memorable status in the music world. There are very few musicians who have attained his level of perfection on the Nagaswaram. Such flawless rendering! I have had the great honour of being the Asthana Vidwan of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, next to him. I pray for his soul to rest in peace and for the recovery of their family members from this grief.
Valayapatti Malarvannan, Tavil artiste: I have had the great honour of having played Tavil for Namagiripettai Krishnan along with my father Valayapatti Subramanyam when I was 14 years old. I have heard many of his concerts and used to admire his crisp and neat rendering of raga alapanas. I have heard that this great Vidwan used to practice vigorously when he did not have concerts, which was the reason for his perfection in his performances. He is the one who stood famous among great Nagaswara Vidwans, after T N Rajaratnam Pillai and Karaikurichi Arunachalam. He was a very simple man and an apt example for a dignified musician. His death is a great loss for the world of music. I feel the younger generation should follow musicians like him.
Tiruvalaputtur T S Balu, Nagaswara Vidwan: Namagiripettai Krishnan was a great nagaswara vidwan, and a nice and polite human being. He was in such a leading position in the Nagaswara world that nobody could reach his heights. Kalyani was his favorite and specialty, though he was good at playing any raga with perfection. I feel nobody can play the kriti 'Chalamelara' in raga Margahindolam as beautifully as he used to.
Posted on 2nd May 2001