Rajeswari Padmanabhan

Rajeswari Padmanabhan (1939-2008), daughter of Lakshmi Ammal and grand daughter of Karaikudi Subbarama Iyer (the elder of the Karaikudi Veena brothers), was a ninth generation descendent from the Karaikudi Veena tradition.

rajeswari_padmanabhan1999b_thuFrom the very young age of five, she was under the tutelage of her grandfather Karaikudi Sambasiva Iyer (the younger of the Karaikudi Veena brothers) in the Gurukula system and remained under his guidance until the demise of the maestro in 1958. Later, under the Government of India scholarship, she continued her training in vocal from the composer Late Sri. Mysore Vasudevachar. She was principal of Kalakshetra where she worked and taught for many years. Among the numerous awards she has received, she was also the recipient of the Kalaimamani and Sangita Kalanidhi.Smt. Rajeshwari was known for her musical integrity and virtuosity. Besides performing, she has composed a few varnams and tillanas, has set to tune the text of Kumbeshvarar Kuravanji for a dance drama, and is also credited with innovative approaches towards making the portable Veena and designing a new acrylic ‘melam’.

Source: A tribute to my Guru by courtesy by Vasuki Gandhi (with video link), a former student at Kalakshetra

Smt. Rajeswari Padmanabhan passed away on the 15 August 2008.

music_vina_cdMore about Rajeswari Padmanabhan

  • Mother and guru of vainika Sreevidhya Chandramouli (now settled in Oregon, USA) with whom she performed and recorded during the “Long night of Indian Music” organized by SFB (Berlin radio) in 2001
  • Rajeswari Padmanabhan: Vainika, teacher, friend – a tribute by Dr. Pia Srinivasan
  • Sister of Professor Dr. K.S. Subramanian, founder-director, Brhaddhvani Research and Training Centre for Musics of the World (Chennai)
  • The Karaikudi tradition of the vina their style and tradition have been documented on video in several live and studio recordings produced by leading institutions in India, Europe and the U.S.A.
  • The most comprehensive and best illustrated explanation of the Tanjavur Vina and its playing technique is found on the award-winning double-album titled Sambho Mahadeva Vina/South India with English and German commentary by Dr. Pia Srinivasan and published by Prof. Dr. Arthur Simon, Director, Department of Ethnomusicology, Museum fuer Voelkerkunde Berlin
  • CD recordings for labels in India, Europe, Japan, and U.S.A.
  • Taught at the Rukmini Devi College of Fine Arts (Kalakshetra Foundation)