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IN PRAISE OF... Cdr. B. Prabhakara Rao (Navy) (right) honours Vankayala Narasimham.
IN PRAISE OF... Cdr. B. Prabhakara Rao (Navy) (right) honours Vankayala Narasimham.

The 443rd anniversary of Purandhara Dasa was marked by soulful music.

Kaveri Kannada Sangha organised the 443rd death anniversary of Sri Purandhara Dasa in its auditorium at Seethammadhara last Friday. Rendering of a few compositions of the Carnata Sangeetha Pithamaha besides bhajans for about an hour by its members marked the inaugural session.Renowned mridangam vidwan and leading AIR artiste Sriman Vankayala Narasimham, Principal of Bharati Kalaa Vihara (music school) attached to the residential high school at Gudilova near the port city, was honoured the most traditional way on the occasion next.Born on November 14, 1931, to Lakshmanaswamy and Venkatalakshmi who were known exponents of devotional music, Narasimham learnt playing on mridangam first from late Sripada Sanyasi Rao and later mastered the art under the scholarly tutelage of mridangam maestro Mullapudi Lakshmana Rao. He also obtained B.Sc., B.A. and B.Ed degrees. Even while working as a graduate science assistant in the Municipal High School in Vizianagaram, he achieved the distinction of being a choicest accompanist on mridangam to stalwart exponents of classical, vocal and instrumental music like D.K. Pattammal, Nedunuri, Sandhyavandanam Srinivasa Rao, Dwaram Venkataswami Naidu, Eemani, and Prapancham Sitaram to name a few. He became a guru in great demand and scores of his students including his son (V.V. Ramanamurty, an AIR artiste and its staffer) today enjoy the privilege of being valued accompanists and teachers in music schools and colleges. He resigned his job as a teacher to join AIR and adorned its studios in Visakhapatnam as a staff artiste for 16 years from 1975. An evocative exponent and composer of devotional music even at the age past 75, he gets drafted by AIR and music sabhas all over South Inddia to organise layavinyasams.The grand finale of the function lay in the recital of compositions of Purandhara Dasa in the regular concert format by Manda Sudharani in the company of Ch. Sanyasi Rao on violin and Narasimham on mridangam.A.R.S


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