Carnatic Music's Local Ambassador

Published: 12th December 2015 05:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th December 2015 05:46 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: She is known for the strong laya gnanam and her distinct ability to sing intricate Ragas, Tanam, Pallavi and torrential Kalpana Swaras.  She is immensely learned and lettered, holds a masters and a doctorate in music (Phd.,) from the University of Madras.

N a ra ya n a.jpgShe is none other than Tapovanam  Dr Leelavathi, a respected, reputed, highly knowledgeble, lumongously, talented Senior Vidushi in the Carnatic Music scenario. She has performed in and out of the country and has been a ambassador for Carnatic music globally for over five decades.

She has released numerous albums, casettes, and is a recipient of numerous awards and titles. She is also a music teacher and has trained numerous students in this field. It is pertinent to note that she comes from a musically rich family, and it is learnt that when Leelavathi Amma was 12-years-old, her entire family, surrendered at the lotus feet of Tapovanam Swami Gnanandha Giri.

She began her journey under the tutilage of Dandapani Desigar and TR Subramanian. She strictly adheres to traditional carnatic music and brings out its pure beauty.

When she performed recently at a concert for the Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer  Trust, it  was evident that the ambience created by her brought out the ennobling values which are fundamental to carnatic music, as embodied in the sahitya. She began rendering the alapana of the raga Sankarabaranam and began Sri Dakshinamurthee of Deekshithar in tala misra jamba. Rasikas realised that her exposition served the purpose of elevating their consciousnesses about the nature of divinity.


Her interpretation of Kanada was followed by (Sri Kanthimathi) of Thiagaraja, which requires an essential concentration of Mettu and Sahityam were educative. A vein of musical fervour engulfed the auditorium when she rendered Raghavendra in raga Misramandu in Misragathi.

Usha Rajagopalan on the violin was sharp in absorbing the vocalist’s musical thinking, Madipakkam Suresh on the mirdangam was sufficiently supportive. In terms of entertainment and exhilaration, there is no scale by which this concert can be evaluated, but it was certainly a ‘Sangama’ of devotional reverie.

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