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News Round UpJuly 12, 2002
Mani Krishnaswamy passes away
By KutcheriBuzz Staff / Madras
Nation honours classical artistes
The Government of India recently presented the national awards for distinguished service in various fields. Four artistes including singer Mani Krishnaswamy received the award.
Read all about it
Well known singer Mani Krishnaswamy passed away on July 12 (Friday) afternoon in Madras, south India. Mani had an eye surgery at a city hospital and was recovering. But she then suffered a cardiac arrest and was rushed to another city hospital. She passed away soon after. The funeral was held on 13 July.
As soon as news of the death spread in the city, vidwans and rasikas gathered at Mani's house on Warren Road. Mani had not been well for sometime now. And she had rarely performed on stage too. Her biggest day in her long career was when she was in Delhi to receive the national award, Padma Shri, earlier this year, from the President of India, K. R. Narayanan.

Mani KrishnaswamyHer husband, M. Krishnaswamy, who has been an active arts promoter, was actually preparing for the Tirupathi Thyagaraja Festival scheduled to be held in this temple town, in late July. The Asthana Vidwan of the Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam, Mani Krishnaswamy was an authentic performer of the Musiri school. Mani's other big awards were the ' Sangita Kalanidhi' awarded by The Music Academy and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award. Mani Krishnaswamy was born Mani Perundevi, in 1930, into an affluent family. Her father Lakshminarasimhachari was the Secretary of the Vellore Sangeeta Sabha. Mani's mother taught her to play the violin when she was just six years old.

Condolence Message received at KutcheriBuzz
On behalf the Founder,Swami Shantananda Saraswathi and members and Teachers of Temple of Fine Arts, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I wish to express our heartfelt condolences to the family of the late Prof Mani Krishnaswami. We were supposed to have had the great opportunity of having an exchange programme with the great lady at our premises just last month but due to some reasons the organisers (Sutra Theatre via Mrs Jeya Sekhar) had informed us that she would be unable to perform at our KL centre. Our prayers go out to her soul so that she may rest in peace and continue to inspire us from the other plane.
Om shanti, shanti, shantihi. Hari Om
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Mani's mentor was a professional musician and family friend called Gopalachari. When still in her teens, Mani had learnt over 500 songs. After completing high school, Mani came to Madras and got admitted to Kalakshetra for the Sangeeta Siromani course. Here, she came under the influence of people like Rukmini Devi and 'Tiger' Varadachariar. She was also exposed to Papanasam Sivan. She was sent by the Indian government to perform in the Festivals of India in the USSR in 1989 and in Germany in 1991.

Says Dr. V. V. Srivatsava, musicologist, "She was representative of the Musiri tradition and was very strong in the aspects of neraval and pallavi rendition. A unique feature of her career is that she learnt music from five giants, five Sangita Kalanidhi awardees - Vasudevachar, Budalur Krishnamurthy Sastry, Musiri,Subramania Iyer, Tiger Varadachariar and Papanasam Sivan. Vidwan Madurai N. Krishnan says, "Her music was known for its sruti shuddham, sahitya shuddham and for its kalapramanam." Prof. Sudharani Raghupathy, dance guru says, "I have known Mani for decades. She was a very unassuming person who was like an elder sister to me. We have been in many committees and platforms together. Her passing away is a big loss to music." Her closest colleagues, Suguna Purushothaman and Suguna Varadachari, both singers, rushed to Mani's house on hearing the news of her death. The trio sang on many platforms in almost an apostolic fashion - their one goal was to popularise the works of Musiri. They personally did a lot of work and hosted kutcheris to celebrate Musiri's centenary. And they even brought out an album of his songs and gave it free to rasikas.

Even in ill-health Mani did respond to good ideas. She was there at Mylapore's Sastri Hall, taking part in a unique programme last year, which brought out the Carnatic strains in vintage Tamil film music. Sivan Arts Academy in Madras run by the family of Papanasam Sivan had planned to confer a title on Mani at the Academy's anniversary function due on July 13 evening. It was conferred posthumously.

Condolence Message received at KutcheriBuzz
To Mani's family,
You have always lived as a noble and dignified artiste and as fragrant as your divine music, ever learning and radiating knowledge...Your name will sure continue forever to serve the cause...
- Gopalan and his family
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Krishnaswamy's address:
No 15, Block 3 Flat No 2, Ananya Ashok,
Warren Road, Mylapore, Chennai-600004, India.
Phone: 91-44-4995758

If you wish to mail a tribute or share some thoughts on Mani Krishnaswamy, please e-mail them to editor@kutcheribuzz.com. We will post it here. Condolences mailed to us will be passed on to the Krishnaswamy family.

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