Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Renowned musician Neyyattinkara Vasudevan passed way on Tuesday. The Padmasree-winning Carnatic vocalist, who combined tradition and innovation in his widely acclaimed recitals over the last four decades and more, died at his residence here. He was 68.

A disciple of Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer and Ramnad Krishnan, Neyyattinkara Vasudevan marked himself out among Carnatic vocalists with the rich texture of his voice and his ability to ‘renew, refine and enrich’ the musical tradition he had inherited from the great masters of Carnatic music.

His long-time disciple and well-known musician of the younger generation Sreevalsan J. Menon quotes mridamgam maestro Umayalpuram Sivaraman as telling an audience at a concert in Mumbai: “If you want to be treated to the music of Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Ramnad Krishnan and M.D. Ramanathan simultaneously, listen to Neyyatinkara Vasudevan.”

The maestro worked as assistant professor at the RLV College of Music, Thripunithura, for nearly a decade before joining All India Radio as an A-grade staff vocalist in 1974. He retired in 2000 and was later ranked ‘A Top’, the highest honour given by AIR to classical musicians.

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, in his condolence message, described the maestro as one of the best talents in the field of Carnatic.