First time in history
All of Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer's Soulful Concerts are now available for you
Semmangudi, the Pitamaha of Carnatic music
This website is a monument to Carnatic music’s Pitmaha (grandfather) and his collective enthusiasm. It has a collection of all of his musical performances and concerts, which we hope will continue to inspire a new and prominent generation of artists.
Semmangudi, as a young child exhibited an aptitude for and interest in music. His beloved mother Dharmambal’s brothers Tirukodikval Krishna Iyer, one of the earliest Carnatic violinists, and Narayanaswami Iyer, both renowned musicians, prompted Radhakrishna Iyer to consider music as a suitable career path for his son. As a result, at the age of nine, Srinivasa Iyer began studying music. Semmangudi’s own sibling, Sri. Panchapakesa Iyer, tended after his financial and other needs during his time at the Gurukulam. Having said all of this, we can understand how valuable this website would be to Semmangudi Iyer’s enthusiastic family and admirers, as it is a compilation of all those incredible events from Semmangudi’s personal biography, as well as his exquisite music.
"Musicians should be charged with devotion. There should be bhakti towards music. That would liven music and ensure that it endures."
Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer
His Ragas and Swaras
Semmangudi’s rise to prominence was rapid, and he was regarded as one of the best vocalists of his generation in the late 1930s. He was awarded the title Sangeetha Kalnidhi by the Music Academy of Madras in 1947, and he is still the youngest person to win the honour.
He performed in hundreds of concerts and events throughout his life, right up till his death.
He stayed devoted and humble throughout. His brilliance drew the attention of tens of thousands of renowned disciples and followers from around the world, which is why his name is still remembered today.
Through his songs, he shows his true devotion
Semmangudi’s music has a distinct and enthralling charm. Despite his nasal voice, it is his stirring music that draws listeners in. It’s creative, passionate, and fascinating, but it’s also transcendent. ‘When it comes to bringing out the bhava of a kriti, Semmangudi is unsurpassed. He conveys the sahitya’s feeling and emotion with an intensity that bears the stamp of personal faith. That is why, in addition to being brilliant, his music is also devoted and affecting…,’ adds S. V. Seshadri.
In his concerts, he has performed varnams on a few occasions, although he usually starts with a krithi in Mayamlavagowla or a Ganapathi krithi. His signature method involves singing nearby swara’s in rapid succession with vigour. All said, Semmangudi’s repertory was believed to number around 800 songs.
Notes of Nostalgia & Affection
The generation of demanding, discerning Rasikas or disciples who recognised and acknowledged real sampradAya sangItam is Semmangudi’s greatest legacy. Some of his most illustrious disciples also joined us in writing about their encounters with the legend.
I consider myself extremely fortunate to have had the rare privilege of having direct tutelage under…
The hallmark of Semmangudi Mama’s music is a beautiful synthesis of gāmbhīryam and saukhyam (briskness, majesty, and poise)…
At Madras, I lived with my Guru in his house, and while undergoing the traditional form of Gurukula…
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