Ninety-nine-year-old-vocalist Sripada Pinakapaani is a role model for youngsters. At a programme organised by the Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha, his admirers and students recalled his dedication to music and his devotion to propagating the compositions of Saint Thyagaraja.
Vocalist P.S. Narayanaswamy, who inaugurated the Saint Thyagaraja Aradhana festival of the Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha here on Friday and presented the Thyagabrahma Nadha Vibhushan to Dr. Pinakapaani, said though he had learnt music under another teacher, the veteran vocalist was like a guru to him.
“Family members of industrialist Obul Reddy are doing much to encourage Carnatic music. An occasion such as this, where I am asked to honour a senior artiste is a rare opportunity for me,” he said.
The award included a citation, shawl and Rs.1.50 lakh cash and was presented to Dr. Pinakapaani's son Mu. Va. Gopal.
Recalling his association with the awardee, Mr. Narayanaswamy said as his teacher and Dr. Pinakapaani were close friends often the latter would call him home and ask him to sing a variety of ragas and correct him when he went wrong. “My teacher and he would write notations for music together. I have learnt a lot from him,” he added.
Vocalist Malladi Suribabu described him as a true devotee, a ‘naadha yogi', who was a phenomenon in the world of music. His music was of the highest integrity and he was open-minded. According to him, it was M.S. Subbulakshmi and Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer who recommended Dr. Pinakapaani's name for the Sangeetha Kalanidhi title. Recalling that he had learnt several ‘padams' from the senior artiste, he said the veteran had a unique style of filling the gaps between phrases with music. Music critic S.V.Krishnamurthy said Dr. Pinakapaani's devotion to Thyagaraja kritis was replete with bhakti.