Renowned Ghatam exponent T.V. Vasan passed away in New Delhi on Wednesday, following a cardiac arrest. He was 61.
He had gone to New Delhi to be part of a jury to audition artistes for performance in the All India Radio.
Born into a family of musicians as one among nine children, Mr. Vasan grew up in an atmosphere of melody and rhythm.
Along with his eldest brother, renowned musician T.V. Gopalakrishnan (TVG) and older brother noted violinist T.V. Ramani, Mr. Vasan made a mark in the field of Carnatic music through his sensitive accompaniment. He could play for artistes of different styles.
Recalling his brother's performances, Mr. Gopalakrishnan said, “He has played for many doyens of those years and all leading contemporary musicians. M.S. and D.K.P. were very fond of him and his playing,” he said.
Mr. Vasan, who learnt from his brother TVG and later from Prof. Velukutty Nair in Kerala, was a versatile artiste who has served the AIR for nearly three decades. “He could play the Thavil with great ease. He was also a good vocalist. He retired from service just a year ago. I am about 20 years older than him and have seen him grown up. The loss is irreparable,” Mr. Gopalakrishnan said.
Artistes recalled Mr. Vasan's expertise in recording and sound engineering. “Many artistes would insist that he be present for their recording for the AIR,” said Mridangam exponent Karaikudi Mani.
“We have collaborated for several of my ‘Sruthilaya' ensembles. He was keen on learning new things and was a passionate artiste,” he added.
A very caring and loving person, Mr. Vasan could not see anyone suffer. “He would go out of his way to help artistes and friends. He was a remarkable human being. It is indeed a great loss,” Mr. Mani said.
Mr. Vasan is survived by his wife, son and daughter.