A six-day tribute to mridanga 'vidwan' Kamalakar's journey

Disciples of renowned mridanga ‘vidwan’ V. Kamalakar Rao will be celebrating the platinum jubilee of their guru’s initiation into classical music for six days from June 2.

Several musicians from south India will take part in concerts from 5.30 p.m. at the Sri Thyagaraja Narayanadasa Sevasamithi auditorium in Rajamahendravaram. Mr. Kamalakar will be felicitated on June 5, the birth anniversary of his guru Mani Iyer.

Mr. Kamalakar, 82, plays the instrument and lends support to classical singers. Having started playing a musical instrument at the age of 7, the veteran artiste has several feathers in his cap including the privilege of being the disciple of noted Mridangam veteran Palghat T.S. Mani Iyer and accompanying violinist Dwaram Venkataswamy at the age of 12.

Brought up in a philanthropic and freedom fighters’ family in Rajamahendravaram, Mr. Kamalakar developed a penchant for instrumental music early in his life and was recognised by his father Varada Rao, who encouraged it. While pursuing graduation from the Andhra University, he had stood first in the university-level music competitions and received a medal from then President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.

A top class artiste from the All India Radio, Mr. Kamalakar has won over two dozen titles and trained several students in the instrument.

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