Vidwan Madurai N. Krishnan passes away

madurainkrishnan1Veteran Carnatic vocalist Vidwan Madurai N. Krishnan passed away on 9 October, 2005, in Chennai. He was 76.

A Vaggeyakara (vocalist-lyricist-music composer) he belonged to the direct Guru-sishya-parampara of the Saint-Composer Tyagaraja. Krishnan was one of the foremost disciples of Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar.

Hailing from a musical family, Krishnan had his initial training in Carnatic music from his father and Harikatha Vidwan Narayana Iyengar, and from his elder brother and violin vidwan, Srinivasa Iyengar. After his formal training at the Tamil Isai School, Karaikudi, Krishnan received his 'Sangita Vidwan' title from the Tamil Nadu Government Music College, Madras. He underwent Gurukula Vasam for 18 years under the Carnatic maestro Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar.

An 'A Top' artiste of A.I.R., Krishnan had performed widely for AIR and Doordarshan, and given several concerts all over India and abroad. His audio recordings include 'Thiruppavai', a double cassette album and 'Ariyakudi Tradition', a rendering of songs in the Ariyakudi bani. As an original composer he has composed several dance numbers of a Bharatanatyam recital. His compositions are available in the form of a book and an audio double cassette, 'Madura Margam'.

Krishnan had also scored the music for several literary works like Thiruppavai, verses from Divya Prabhandam, Thiruvachakam and for the compositions of several other well known composers.

Vidwan Krishnan was the Director-Trustee of Shree Bharatalaya, an institution of fine arts, founded by Prof. Sudharani raghupathy in Chennai, since 1970.

He was a recipient of several awards like the Padma Bhushan (2003), Padma Shri (1992), Central Sangeet Natak Akademi award (1987), Kalaimamani (1982) and the UNESCO award besides several other honours.

He is survived by four daughters and their families. They reside in Mylapore, Chennai. Ph: 91-44-24640011.

A condolence meeting is being held on October 16, 2005 at 4 pm at Shree Bharatalaya, Luz Church Road, Mylapore, Chennai.

An extensive tribute to this veteran artiste, with anecdotes, his early days with Ariyakudi, his compositions and spiritual life, will be posted soon on this website. Keep a tab here.

You can mail condolence messages to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Your message will be posted here.

Messages received at KutcheriBuzz...

My father Madurai . T. Sethuraman was associated with Vidwan Madurai N. Krishnan for more than 15 years in the Bharatanatyam field. They were working together for the dance recitals of Vyjayanthimala Bali, Sudharani raghupathy, Anitha Rathnam, Pritha Rathnam and so many artistes.

Sri. N. Krishnan was so kind to our family. A well known dancer filed a case against my father 30 years back. During that hard period, Sri. Madurai N. Krishnan helped us so much. He supported my father to run the case. Our family cannot forget those days and the help of Sri Madurai N. Krishnan.

His demise is a great loss for both Carnatic and Bharatanatyam field. May his soul rest in peace.
S/o."Kalaimaamani" Madurai T. Sethuraman


I learnt with great sadness about the demise of Madurai Krishnan sir. I used to meet him at Shree Bharatalaya, the dance school of Sudharani Raghupathy, during the season in Chennai for the past 30 years. He was a gentleman and I agree with Sudharani Raghupathy that he was indeed a ‘Siddha Purusha’. He was a humble person and exuded warmth. His musical compisitions were a sheer delight to listen to. His long association with Sudharani had brought me closer to him and the hours one spent with him were great education. Please convey our heartfelt condolences to Sudharani Raghupathy and the family members of the late musician.
Dr Sunil Kothari,
Irvine, California, USA


This message comes from a Bharatanatyam fan in Malaysia. The composition "Durge Durge" in ragam Revathi is very popular in this country. This composer created an equivalent item in that raga for the female form, just like "Maha Deva Shiva Shambo" and "Bho Shambo" for the male form. I also wish to point out that there is a recording of his Thillanas by Smt. Sudha Ragunathan. His thillanas in praise of Devi in ragas Revathi and Hindolam are also extremely popular in this country. A few years ago, Gayathri C Ramesh and Sharmala Devi Harikrishnan had premiered his Thodi raga padavarnam "Maaye Maayan Sodariye" in this country. It is sincerely my hope that with the bulk of the Indian population in Malaysia being Tamil-speaking, the remainder of his compositions will catch on. Another wish: his unpublished works will be published soon.


Madurai N. Krishnan was a versatile personality in the music field. His contribution to both Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam field will be remembered for ever. His demise is a loss for art community. We wish he stayed more longer to give more elegant compositions.
Prasanna Kasthuri,
Artistic Director
Soorya Performing Arts


Sri Krishna Iyengar was a true devotee of music who followed the Ariyakkudi Bani through out his life. I have sung many of his compositions. One of my favorite is Mayae Mayan Sodariyae in Raga todi. His demise is a great loss for both Carnatic music and dance field.

Babu Parameswaran,
Director, Keerthana School of Indian Music, Los Angelesn

Vidwan Madurai Krishnan's sad demise is a great loss for Carnatic Music and for India. He and his contributions would be remembered for a long time. May his soul rest in peace.

Dr. R.Krishnan

B.R. Kumar, Station Manager, Gyan Vani FM Educational Radio Network of India:
Vidwan Madurai N.Krishnan was truly a torch bearer of the Carnatic music tradition. His departure is irreparable.

violinist V.V. Subrahmanyam who has accompanied Krishnan in his concerts:
"It was in 1956, at Tambaram Sangeetha Sabha, when I first accompanied Krishna Iyengar. I was about 12. Ever since I've accompanied him in his concerts for several years. It is very difficult to see a person like him who had such an intense guru bhakthi. Also, he used to respect artistes who had good music. He used to encourage his accompanists during his concerts."

Vocalist R. Vedavalli:
"He used to be very true to his guru. I used to listen to his concerts on AIR and always found his guru's bani in his singing..."

Prof. Sudharani Raghupathy:
"As a guru, he was a 'Siddha Purusha'. He brought good luck wherever he went. He never had differences between the big and the small. He took everybody under his fold. A selfless man, he only gave and never expected anything in return. He was a true embodiment of the Bhagavad Gita...a karmayogi."

Sushma Sunil, a student of Shree Bharatalaya:
"He will always be remembered in our hearts as a great spirit who silently guides us. His words and blessings have always had the effect of filling us with courage and a special feeling of being blessed. Even without him being physically around anymore, we derive strength from having had his kind words, his good humour and his blessings with us for so many years..."