Noted Carnatic vocalist and guru Neela Ramgopal passes away

Published - March 01, 2023 09:55 pm IST - Bengaluru

Neela Ramgopal

Neela Ramgopal | Photo Credit: BHAGYA PRAKASH

Noted Carnatic vocalist and teacher Neela Ramgopal, 86, passed away in Bengaluru on Wednesday (March 1). She was suffering from age-related ailments but had remained high-spirited till the end.

Neela Ramgopal hailed from Kumbhakonam, Tamil Nadu, and had shifted to Bengaluru after her marriage over six decades ago. She learnt music from N.M. Narayanan and T.K. Rangachary in Tamil Nadu. After shifting to Bengaluru, she learnt Kannada and made it a point to sing and teach Kannada kritis to all her students. She widely sang Dasara Padas too. She has also released several albums, including Rama Upasana, Narayana Enniro and Tamizh Inbam.

Wide student circle

While she was well-known as a vocalist in the concert circuit, she was also a highly respected teacher who trained over 700 students. She was one of the first to open herself up to Skype classes in Bengaluru and, as a result, has students across the world.

“She always made her classes lively. She is one of the finest human beings I have come across. She had an indomitable spirit and always spread positivity,” said one of her students Priyanka C. Prakash, whose mother, Sudha Prakash, was also a student of Neela Ramgopal. Neela Ramgopal suffered from several ailments in her life including cancer, but never let them come in the way of her music.

Dr. M.R.V. Prasad, President, Gayana Samaja, said he had met her a few days ago when she told him that she was not scared of death, but only sad that her music would go silent.

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