Famous Carnatic Music Personalities

Some of the notable Carnatic Musicians are as follows:
1. Aruna Sairam: Trained by the legendary Carnatic vocalists T. Brinda and Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna, the Mumbai (Bombay)-born Aruna Sairam has recorded over 60 albums and performed and recorded in many international countries. The recipient of the Padma Shri award from the Indian government, she is also the Vice-Chairman for the Sangeet Natak Akademi, the country’s premier performing arts school.
2. K.J. Yesudas: A prolific playback singer in Indian film music. K.J. Yesudas has recorded more than 50,000 songs in multiple languages throughout his six-decade career. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian honor in India. Other famous playback singers in the Carnatic tradition include Nithyasree Mahadevan and D.K. Pattammal.
3. Musiri Subramania Iyer: One of the most respected vocalists in Carnatic music history, Iyer was known for the bhava, or emotional element of his kritis. His high octave range and dedication to Carnatic music made him a national hero, with his name given to roadways in Tamil Nadu and an image of his face featured on postage stamps.
4. M.S. Subbulakshmi: The first musician to receive the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor, Subbulakshmi was also the first Indian person to perform at the United Nations General Assembly in 1966. Fellow vocal legend Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan deemed her the “goddess of the perfect note.”
5. Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer: Iyer was part of a trinity of acclaimed male singers, alongside G.N. Balasubramaniam and Madurai Mani Iyer. A master of improvisation, he was affectionately known as Semmangudi Maama (Semmangudi uncle) by his many students, including T.M. Krishna, one of the leading modern Carnatic vocalists.
6. Lalgudi Jayaraman: A renowned violinist and vocalist, Jayaraman’s instrumental skills placed him as one-third of the “violin trinity” of Carnatic music, for which M.S. Gopalakrishnan and T.N. Krishnan joined him. The maestro was also a prolific composer who wrote in four languages, including Tamil and Sanskrit, and a teacher whose students included the acclaimed vocalist Vidya Subramanian.

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