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Prof. V.V.Subrahmanyam is a multi-faceted genius, a Violin Artiste, Composer, Scholar, Author, Innovator and Inventor.
EARLY LIFE Prof. V.V.Subrahmanyam was born in Ernakulam , Kerala in 1944 as the eldest son to Vadakkencheri Sri . Veerarghava Bhagavathar and Smt.Annapoorani Ammal, Prof. V.V.S. As he is fondly known, had his musical training under his father Vadakkencheri Sri.Veeraraghava Bhagavathar. He later came under the tutelage of Tripoonithura Sri. Narayana Iyer, Chembai Sri. Vaidhyanatha Bhagavathar, Musiri Sri. Subramanya Iyer and Padma Vibhushan Dr. Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer.The musical lineage of Prof. V.V.Subrahmanyam can be traced back to Shri. Muthuswami Dikshitar, Maharaja Swathi Tirunal and Saint Sri.Thyagaraja.
CAREER Prof. V.V.S , a distinguished musician with a career career spanning well over six decades,has toured all over India and the world as a soloist and accompanist. A musical purist, V.V.S is an accompanist par excellence and has accompanied all the illustrious and senior artistes such as Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, Chittoor Subrahmanya Pillai, Madurai Mani Iyer, G.N.Balasubrahmanyam, Alathur Brothers, T.R.Mahalingam, M.M.Dandapani Desigar, M.D Ramanathan,, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Palghat K.V.NarayanaSwamy, M.S.Subbulakshmi, D.K.Pattammal, M. Balamuralikrishna, T.K.Govinda Rao, D.K.Jayaraman, N.Ramani among others. He is revered as a ‘shadow’ to vocalists because of his skill in following them with clockwork precision thereby elevating the concert-experience. In his Solo concerts, his genius is apparent through his use of soulful melody combined with elegant bowing and flawless technique.
COMPOSER Prof. V.V.S. has composed Varnams, Songs, Thillanas, Bhajans in Tamil, Sanskrit and Hindi. He has also composed poems in Tamil and set to tune the songs of Saints & Siddhas. He has fused the conventional with the unorthodox and composed music for the Thematic Dance “SREE”, choreographed by the renowned dancer Chandralekha which won the National Award for best music. He has composed thematic pieces for the Vaadya-Vrinda of Akashavani India (All India Radio) some of which won the national award for best music. He has presented Lecture – Demonstrations and Workshops at many prestigious institutions in India and abroad like the Universities of Cologne, Hamburg, Osnabruck etc. in West Germany and Tritantri Vidhya Peeth at Amsterdam.
PROFESSOR Prof. V.V.S served as a Visiting Performing artiste at the Wesleyan University, U.S.A during 1966-67. His scholastic aptitude was brought to the fore during his tenure as ‘Professor of Violin’ at the Tamil Nadu Government Music College, Madurai (1979 and 82). Most of his disciples have established themselves as popular and notable artistes in classical music today. He has authored many articles in various leading magazines, newspapers, souvenirs and spoken at many forums including Radio and TV channels in India and abroad.
CREATOR Prof. V.V.S. has a strong musical sensibility, a perfect grasp of musicality, lyrics, and expressions – all of which together make him a brilliant creator. This aspect takes center stage during his performances characterized by evocative renditions and pure, unadulterated music emanating straight from the heart and finding voice through his instrument. His unique style of violin artistry, has undergone multiple iterations based on research and deep thinking. This new style (Bhaani), known as the “VVS Bhaani/VVS style of violin artistry” has influenced many musicians (amateurs and experienced) over a period of time and widely popular in the Carnatic music genre today. He has also presented innovative programs on Classical music like Bhajana Sampradaya, Naada Sangamam, Fusion of Traditional Village tunes and Classical Music, Songs apt for different instruments, Mind of Great Masters, Panchamukhi (Five faces of Music), Evolution of the musical forms and so on. His abundant creativity has been evidenced in the beauty and impact of the Raagas that he has invented— Priya Ranjani, Radha Priya and Sanchari.
HINDUSTANI CLASSICAL MUSICIAN Prof.V.V.S. has been trained in Hindustani Music (Kirana Gharana) under Guru Krishnanand. The Gramophone Company of India (HMV) has brought out his first Hindustani Solo Violin concert as a cassette album. He has also performed Hindustani Music concerts on numerous occasions all over the country in many prestigious organizations.
AUTHOR Prof.V.V.S. has authored many books such as: • VIOLIN VARALAARU - (The history of Violin) • VIOLIN VAASIPPOM - (The techniques of playing the Violin). • SATHYAMEVA JEYATHE - (Authentic details on the compositions and writings of Sri. Swathi Thirunal) • The secrets of Naadha - (A research study of 30 songs of Saint Thyagaraja on Naadha) • AARUYIRE - (The book reveals the esoteric meanings of “VATAPI GANAPATIM”, a famous composition of Sri.Muthuswami Dikshitar) • PON POZHIVIKKUM DHYAANAM - (A unique study on the celebrated Mantra, “SUKLAAMBARADHARAM” explaining how the aural power of the Mantra kindles the functions of the brain and other systems in the human body).
SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION Prof.V.V.S served as the secretary and Vice president of the ‘Classical Musicians’ forum established for the welfare of Classical Musicians. Prof.V.V.S has established “Naadhabrumam”, a centre for excellence that disseminates the results of his research on the sounds of classical music and mantras. He has been part of many charity, outreach concerts and events throughout his career like concerts for Ramakrishna Mission, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, VHS, Shanmukhananda Sabha, Bombay building fund etc.
ACHIEVEMENTS He was the first Indian Violinist to perform in the United States of America - at the United Nations with the nightingale of India, Smt. M.S.Subbulakshmi in the year 1966. He has toured countries like the United States, Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Italy, Middle East, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore several times.
He won special appreciation from the world-renowned Violin maestro Yehudi Menuhin as, “Violin Virtuoso Subrahmanyam”, after his performance in the ‘East - West’ encounter held at New Delhi in 1964. He has also merited a mention in the book “Eternal India” by Smt. Indira Gandhi, the Late Prime- Minister of India. UNESCO has released a recording of Prof. V.V.S’s performance - its first-ever release of a South Indian Instrumental concert – a rare occurrence and prestigious honor.
AWARDS AND HONOURS (A REPRESENTATIVE LIST)
Conferred by the Government of India and other Government Institutions:
• SANGEET NATAK AKADEMI AWARD by the Govt. of India (2005)
• KALAIMAMANI AWARD by the Govt. of Tamil Nadu (1993)
• KERALA SANGEETHA NATAKA ACADEMY by the Govt. of Kerala
• AKASHAVANI AWARD, by All India Radio for his instrumental musical
ensemble “Iraivanai Thedi” (1996)
• SENIOR FELLOWSHIP by the Department of Culture for the Project Titled
“Unearthing the Music of the past / tradition”
Conferred by reputed Institutions in India:
• SANGEETHA KALA NIPUNA by The Mylapore Fine Arts Club, Chennai
• SANGEETHA SAMPOORNA by Sree Poornathrayeesa Sangeetha Sabha,
Tripunithura, Kerala (2018)
• MUDHRA AWARD OF EXCELLENCE by MUDRA Fine Arts, Chennai (2017)
• DIGVIJAYA NADA VANI by Chennai Fine Arts, Chennai (2017)
• VEERASHRINGALA by Sumanasaranjani, Kaladi, Kerala (2017)
• ARSHA KALA BHUSHANAM by Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Anaikatti and
received from His Holiness Poojya Swamiji Shri Dayananda Saraswati (2014)
• VANI KALA SUDHAKARA by Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha, Chennai
• AASTHANA VIDHWAN, Kanchi Mutt, Kanchipuram (2007)
• LIFE TIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD by Rotary International, India (2005)
• BHARATA SANGEETHA SAGARA by Sree Bharathalaya, Chennai (1999)
• NAADHABRAHMAM by Narada Gana Sabha, Chennai (1996)
• NAADA YOGI by Isai Gnani Ilayaraja (1994)
• NAADHAKKANAL by the Mahakavi Bharatiyar movement, Chennai (1993)
• SANGEETHA KALAAMRUTHA by Swamiji Haridhos Giri (1988)
• VAADYAKALA VALLABHA by Kalalaya, Kumbakonam (1976)
Conferred by reputed Institutions abroad:
• SANGITA VIDHYA NIDHI by The Indian Fine Arts Association of San Diego,
San Diego USA (2019)
• SANGEETHA RATHNAKARA by Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival, Cleveland,
• MS SUBBULAKSHMI MEMORIAL AWARD by Cleveland Thyagaraja
Aradhana committee, Cleveland, USA (2016)
• LIFE TIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD by Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana
committee and Carnatica (2014)
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