Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Sangeetha Vidwan L.S.Narayanaswamy Bhagavathar


        Late Vidwan L.S.Narayanaswamy Bhagavathar was a musician of distinction in the field of Carnatic music. His father L.Shamanna of Chickamagalur, Karnataka was a gifted Harikatha Vidwan. Music was Bhagavathar's very soul from his early days. He had his initial training under Late Vidwan Krishnappa. Soon after his matriculation examination, he left for Chennai(Madras) where he practised music under Late Vidwan Namakkal Narasimha Iyengar. Later he underwent intensive training under Late Vidwan Kanchipuram Nayana Pillai who was known for his bold and original style of Pallavi elaboration and swaraprastara. This training gave a firm grounding to Bhagavathar in the intricacies and subtleties of classical music. Along with vocal training, Bhagavathar attained proficiency in playing the violin. He had the rare oppurtunity of listening to the violin performances of Late Vidwan Trichy Govindaswamy Pillai.

        Perhaps Bhagavathar, like Ekalvya, followed Govindaswamy Pillai and imbibed many of his masterly techniques.

        The Bhagavathar's command over the teoritical and practical aspects of music was admirable and his repertoire astounding. He dedicated his whole life to the pursuit of his art without allowing himself to be distracted by the lures of the material world. He was not satisfied by mechanical repetition of musical cliches. To him music was the language of communion between the human soul and the Divine. His exposition of ragas like Shankarabharana, Begade, Bilahari, Kamboji and Manirangu were inimitable.

        In 1935, Bhagavathar settled down in Bangalore and started the "Gurukula" method of training in music at his residence. He trained a number of disciples in vocal music and violin. Apart from vocal concerts, he gave innumerable violin concerts. In 1953, he started the Vijaya College of Music with an aim to popularise Carnatic Classical music, and to make music training available to the elite and the commoner alike.

        It was in 1967, that the Bhagavathar was inspired to set to music, shlokas from the Valmiki Ramayana. The germinal idea flowered into his magnum opus, Ramayana in song. In all humilty and devotion he offered his work at the Lotus Feet of Sri Rama. The noble soul passed away on the 31st March, 1970.