Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Special Cover on Bharat Ratna Dr. M. S. Subbulakshmi

Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi, (b. 16 September 1916 – d. 11 December 2004), also known as M.S. or, M. S. Subbulakshmi was a renowned Carnatic vocalist. She was the first musician ever to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour. She is the first Indian musician to receive the Ramon Magsaysay award, often considered Asia's Nobel Prize in 1974 with the citation reading "Exacting purists acknowledge Srimati M. S. Subbulakshmi as the leading exponent of classical and semi-classical songs in the carnatic tradition of South India."
Subbulakshmi (Kunjamma to her family) was born in Madurai to veena player Shanmukavadiver Ammal and Subramania Iyer. She started learning Carnatic music at an early age and trained in Carnatic music under the tutelage of Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer and subsequently in Hindustani music under Pandit Narayanrao Vyas. Her mother, from the devadasi community, was a music exponent and a regular stage performer, and Subbulakshmi grew up in an environment very conducive to musical learning. Her musical interests were also shaped by regular interactions with Karaikudi Sambasiva Iyer, Mazhavarayanendal Subbarama Bhagavathar and Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar. Subbulakshmi gave her first public performance, at the age of eleven, in the year 1927, in the 100 pillar hall inside the Rockfort Temple, Tiruchirappalli; with Mysore Chowdiah on the violin and Dakshinamurthy Pillai on the mridangam. By the age of seventeen, Subbulakshmi was giving concerts on her own including major performances at the Madras Music Academy. She travelled to London, New York, Canada, the Far East, and other places as India's cultural ambassador. M.S. also acted in a few Tamil films in her youth.
A four-day centenary festival of the legendary Carnatic musician, late Dr. M. S. Subbulakshmi was held at Shri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts and Sangeetha Sabha, Mumbai from 13th to 16th September 2015. On the occasion a Special Cover on Dr. M. S. Subbulakshmi was released by Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra on 16th September 2015 (Special Cover approval no. MH/26/2015).
Special Cover on Bharat Ratna Dr. M. S. Subbulakshmi
Special Cover on Bharat Ratna Dr. M. S. Subbulakshmi
Courtesy: Sreejesh Krishnan, Thiruvananthapuram

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