Artists > M. L. Vasanthakumari

M. L. Vasanthakumari

M.L.Vasanthakumari, popularly refered to as MLV was a vidushi of outstanding merit. The initials MLV could be an acronym for her Melody, Laya and Vidwat. Surely, she was great in all these aspects of carnatic music. Endowed with a melodious voice, MLV was a much sought after musician. She could appeal to all sections of rasikas. She could very easily render an elaborate ragam-tanam-pallavi in uncommon talam with an unusual eduppu, sing kritis set in two kalai talam or regale her audience with popular and semiclassical songs.

MLV was the daughter of Smt.Lalithangi and Sri.Kuthanur Ayyaswami Iyer-both musicians. Her mother,Lalithangi was a concert performer. Having grown in this ambience, MLV used to give vocal support to her mother as a young teenager. Naturally, MLV had the initial training from her mother and later from G.N.Balasubramaniam, (GNB).

MLV imbibed some of GNB's style in her renditions. She was a fast paced singer with a brigha laden voice, but in the later years, she slowed down. She had the natural flair for rendering ragams. She would handle ragams like Kalyani, Todi, Bhairavi, Kharaharapriya, Latangi, Harikambodi, Kambodi, Keeravani, Purvikalyani, Shanmukhapriya, Shankarabharanam, Madhyamavati, Shuddasaveri effortlessly and render them with full of raga bhavam. She was adept in grahabhedam or modal shift. She used to glide through easily from the main ragam to the derived ragam. Unless, a musician had strong grasp of the basics and was quick thinker, it is difficult to do grahabhedam in a concert setting. In a lec-dem situation, grahabhedam can be handled at leisure. At the same time, she was at ease in rendering uncommon ragas like Bhavani, Hamsa vinodini, Urmika, Sumanesha ranjani etc.

Many music organizations all over the globe had honored MLV with titles and awards. In recognition of her scholarship, service to Carnatic music. She was honored with a Doctorate degree, a "Padma bhushan" from the Govt. of India, a title of "Sangita Kalanidhi" from the Madras Music Academy, just to name a few.

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