Vasudevan - A Profile
|The late Mudikondan Venkitarama Iyer, one of
the greatest grammarians in the realm of Carnatic music used
to maintain that the future of Carnatic Classical Music depended
upon a musician's capacity to attract young listeners day
by day. For achieving this the musician should be competent
enough to present his wares in a highly polished format. It
is the innate flair in Neyyatinkara Vasudevan to draw in more
and more young music lovers to his fold by presenting his
music in a novel form, that has helped him to carve a niche
of his own, even at the very outset of his career.
|Training and Music Career
||Vasudevan was born in 1940 in humble
surroundings and after finishing his high school studies,
his ardent love towards Carnatic music prompted him to join
the Swathi Thirunal Music College at Thiruvananthapuram. He
passed Ganabhushanam in 1960 and Sangeetha Vidwan in 1962
with colours. His skills were honed in the College by a bunch
of reputed musicians under the leadership of the illustrious
Semmangudi Sreenivasa Iyer. Later Vasudevan imbibed the esoteric
subtleties from a rigorous training meted out by Ramnad Krishnan
|Vasudevan's career graph soared upwards with
his arrival to Tripunithura to serve as Assistant Professor
in RLV College of music there. This hoary royal town has ever
provided a fecund soil for any aspiring musician to bloom
and Vasudevan was no exception. With his charming disposition
and a positive approach to his chosen vocation, he became
immensely popular. In 1974, he joined the All India Radio,
Trivandrum as 'A Grade' Staff artist in Vocal Music from where
he retired in 2000. The AIR honoured him with 'A Top Rank'
- the highest rank in Carnatic Classical Music.
|He has been to American countries and Canada
in 1983, 1984 and 1994 respectively for giving public performances
and for imparting music to music lovers. He has also given
public performances in Abudhabi, Dubai, and Muscat during
his tour in 1992.
|His strict adherence to tradition and yet innovating
within it, unique style of raga elaboration, inimitable style
of rendering rakthi ragas, rendering of compositions in appropriate
tempo, compact swaraprasthara and above all his capacity to
build up a rapport with the accompanying artists as well as
his listeners brought him encomiums even in a place like Chennai
where the audiences are fastidious by nature. When he secured
the prize for the best sub-junior vocalist in 1971, at the
Music Academy, roaring reviews had appeared in the leading
newspapers. Vasudevan's gift for voice modulations and flourishes
are always enviable. He comes out always with a clean diction
and his format during a concert is evenly distributed among
our Sahajavaggeyakaras. He has taken a lot of pains in popularising,
Swathi Thirunal compositions throughout the country and abroad.
|Vasudevan has been given the Indian President's
Award in the A.I.R. Music competition in 1960.
|He has been given music concerts regularly
in Madras Music Academy ever since 1972. He has been given
awards for Best Vocalist in the years 1972, 1978, 1982 and
1988 by the same institution. In 1993 he was given award for
Best Musician in Raga rendering.
|He has been giving public performances throughout
India and abroad. Almost all top ranking violinists and mridangists
have accompanied him in his concerts. He has also been featured
in the National Programme of Music and Radio Sangeetha Sammelan
|The Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy Award was
given to him in the year 1982 and the prestigious Sangeetha
Nataka Academy Fellowship in 1989. He received the Tulasivanam
Award of Kerala in 1992.
|The title "Asthana Vidwan" was conferred
on him in 1984 by the Sri. Venkateswara Temple Trust, Pittsburgh,
|The Govt. of India's Sangeeth Natak Academy,
National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama honoured him with
the Academy award for Carnatic Music in 2000. The prestigious
Padmasree came in search of him in 2004 and the Swathi Puraskaram
|That apart, several organisations and music
lovers associations have honoured him with innumerable awards.
|Whatever Vasudevan has attained in his long
career as a vocalist and trainer, has always been against
heavy odds. His modesty on and off the stage is a rare trait
and his geniality, a great asset. Vasudevan is known to the
world as "Neyyattinkara" - his place of birth and
when one hears the word 'Neyyattinkara' one is reminded only
of this great musician!
|The A.V.M Studios has released a cassette of
Swathi Thirunal Krithis sung by Vasudevan. The C.B.S has produced
two cassette volumes, sung by him, containing Krithis of different
composers. The HMV & Manorama Music have also produced
a volume of krithis rendered by him.
|For the film "Swathi Thirunal", Sri.Vasudevan
served as consultant for music aspects. He has also sung in
films (Classical Music only) such as "ENIPADIKAL (1968)",
"SWATHI THIRUNAL (1987)", "CHITHRAM (1988)",
"VACHANAM (1990)" & "MAZHA (2000)".