PUDUCHERRY: Thavil musician Kongampattu AV Murugaiyan, one of the Padma Shri recipients is joyous over the announcement by the Ministry of Home Affairs on the occasion of 73rd Republic Day.
"It is not only an honour for me but the award to me will bring joy and encouragement to young musicians to learn Thavil," said Murugaiyan.
The 58-year-old Thavil exponent who is the only recipient of the Padma award from Puducherry was born in Kongampattu village, near Kandamangalam in Villupuram district. He later settled in Chinna Kottakuppam near Muthialpet in Puducherry. He is the seventh from Puducherry to win the Padma award, which includes Padma Bhushan.
His initial training was from his father Vivekanandam, a Thavil musician. Due to his interest in Thavil, Padma Sri Valaiyapatti AR Subramaniam took him as his pupil and he learned the whole art under his Guru.
Subsequently, he started paying Thavil in public concerts and went on to play alongside musicians including his Guru, the Soolamangalam Sisters, Jayalakshmi and Rajalakshmi, exponents of Carnatic vocal music, Thirunageswaran TR Subramanian, Nadhaswaram musicians Namagiripettai K Krishnan and Thiruvizha R Jayasankar. He has also accompanied violin maestro L Subramaniyam and Tabla maestro Ustad Alla Rakha in concerts.
He is a recipient of several awards including the Kalaimamani Award from the Government of Tamil Nadu in 2006. He was conferred the title of ‘Aasthana Vidwan’ by Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peeda and Sreepuram Golden Temple.
He was an A Plus Grade Artist on All India Radio, who has also performed at concerts in several international countries and represented India in the “Festival of India" in Paris. He is a Thavil teacher at Villupuram Government Music school, where he has taught more than 300 students in his 23 years of service at the school.