Palghat K.V. Narayanaswamy

  • Published By: Sruti

Kollengode Viswanatha Narayanaswamy, Carnatic musician par excellence, will be awarded the title of Sangita Kalanidhi by the Madras Music Academy at the end of its 60th annual conference starting this month. This, in a sense, will be a mere formality since KVN, as the vidwan is popularly known, has long been recognized as such by discerning rasikas. In fact, by twisting a mere vowel, our own Anami recently referred to him as a "sangita kalanadhi'. Perhaps this description is just as apt, considering that KVN's art is like a life-giving river that flows quietly and considering, too, that music has been coursing KVN's parents through his family like a perennial stream.

KVN was born on 15 November 1923, in Palghat, in a family of continuing music tradition. His father Fiddle Viswanatha Bhagavatar was a violinist of repute ; his grandfather Narayana Bhagavatar and his great-grandfather Viswam Bhagavatar were also musicians. It was but natural therefore that, right from his childhood, the family was keen that he should be a musician. The only caveat was that he should only be a vocalist occupying the centre of the stage, rather than a sideman like his father.