Tuesday, January 13, 2015

MAVELIKKARA S.R. RAJU

Mavelikkara S.R.Raju was an eminent 'Mridangam' artiste who was recipient of several awards and recognition.The main percussion instrument 'Mridangam' used in Carnatic music concerts can be played   by one who is well versed in it.S.R.Raju was a maestro and an exponent in this art form and had accompanied great musicians like 'Semmangudi Sreenivasa Iyer,Madurai Mani Iyer,G.N.Balasubramanyam,M.Balamuralikrishna,K.J.Yesudas,T.N.Krishnan,NeyyattinkaraVasudevan' and many more in Carnatic music concerts with mridangam.
Mavelikkar S.R.Raju was born in Umbarnadu Village, near Kallumala at Mavelikkara as the son of M.N.Raghavan Pillai and Parukutty Amma.His father was also a mridangam player and he was a close friend of Padmasree Mavelikkara Krishnankutty Nair who was a great mridangam artiste.S.R.Raju was interested in mridangam from childhood itself and he used to play his father's mridangam even though he had no proper training in it and was handling it playfully.Once Mavelikkara Krishnankutty Nair happened to see the child playing mridangam and was impressed about his intrinsic talent.He offered his willingness to teach the boy this art form and S.R.Raju's father  felt very happy about that.Thus S.R.Raju became the first disciple of Padmasree Mavelikkara Krishnankutty Nair and very soon became a master of this art.
S.R.Raju's first public performance was for a music concert of Mavelikkara Ramanathan and he was only fifteen years of age at that time.
He joined All India Radio as a B High grade mridangam artiste in 1958 and was made a permanent staff member in 1963.He retired from service as a top A grade mridangam artiste in the year 1993.
He was recipient of many awards like Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Akademy Fellowship(1985) and the 'Nyapathy Rangamannar Award' instituted by the Madras Music Academy.He received recognition from Petersburg University USA also.He had visited USA four times with his mridangam performances.
S.R.Raju was settled with his family at Thiruvananthapuram and in 2014 he felt sick and was bedridden for a few months.He was later admitted at Medical College Hospital and he died on 8th June 2014.He was 79.


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