Veteran mridangam vidwan Vellore Ramabhadran, who enriched the world of carnatic music with his sensitive percussive technique, passed away here on Monday. He was 82.
Born on August 4, 1929, he was introduced to mridangam-playing by his father Vellore Konnakkol Gopalachariar, a noted laya vidwan. Ramabhadran's journey as a performing artiste began in 1943 at the Jagannatha Bhakta Sabha, Chennai, when he got to accompany the legendary Madurai Mani Iyer.
In his career that spanned nearly seven decades, Ramabhadran accompanied doyens, including Chembai Vaidyanatha Bagavathar, Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer, Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Madurai Mani Iyer, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Musiri Subramania Iyer, G.N. Balasubramaniam, flute Mahalingam and Maharajapuram Santhanam. His performances with seasoned artistes such as Lalgudi Jayaraman, T.N. Krishnan, T.V. Sanakaranarayanan, T.K. Govinda Rao, T.N. Seshagopalan, N. Ramani, B. Rajam Iyer and P.S. Narayanaswami are cherished by rasikas.
Ramabhadran was known not only for his nuanced understanding of music that reflected in every stroke he played, but also for his professionalism. Colleagues and associates fondly remember him as a very loving person.