Manakkal Rangarajan

MANAKKAL S. RANGARAJAN is one of today's senior-most vidwans. He hails from a traditional musical family and his father was the late Santhana Krishna Bhagavathar. He has been singing Sampradaya Sangeetham for the past six decades and till singing strong with an evergreen voice. An original incomparable Thri Sthayi specialist, he has a gifted ringing voice that modulates with ease. He is an expert in brigas and a master of both Vilamba and Drutha Kalas and is a specialist  in Ragas and Pallavis.  He has performed all over the country and abroad and has been accompanied by all veteran vidwans like Mysore T. Chowdiah, Kumbakonam Rajamanickam Pillai, Palghat Mani Iyer and Palani Subramania Pillai.


Capable of  singing in all ways, slow paced  as well as in electrifying speed, combining  light as well as weight, both difficult mathematical calculations as well as smooth Sarvalaghu patterns in Swara Singing. He can challenge any Hindustani or Western Artist with his voice culture and modulation and sing Apoorva ragas with the utmost ease. Music critic Subbudu states in one of his reviews that if Manakkal had taken to Hindustani or Western Music, he would have beaten all of them due to his unique ringing voice and range. Interestingly, Subbudu has played the Harmonium for him in the prestigious December Series of the Indian Fine arts Society for Nandanar Charitram. Rangarajan has not missed a single year in paying homage to Saint Thiagaraja in the historic festival at Thiruvaiyaru  for the past sixty years. He is the only senior-most musician at present, who has sung in AIR Chennai since its inception. He has not repeated a single song any time in AIR concerts till now!


Chowdiah had a special liking for the music of Manakkal and frequently accompanied him and used to have thrilling competitions with him. Rangarajan has the distinction of giving rare pallavi demonstrations at the Music Academy using both hands for Thalam, comprising different Nadais.  Rangarajan is one of those rare musicians who has not compromised on the principles and traditions at any time to gain popularity.


Interestingly, he is a vidwan who has given concerts accompanied by his entire family! Smt. Padma Rangarajan (Wife - Vocal Support), Smt.  Banumathy Hariharan (Daughter - Violin), Shri. Manakkal Sriram (Son - Mridangam), Smt. Viji Sriram (Daughter-in-Law - Tambura)

Titles & Awards

  • KALAIMAMANI - Tamil Nadu State award.

  • GAYAKA SAMRAT  conferred by Indian Fine Arts Society Annual Conference in 1957

  • SANGEETHA SIMHAM conferred by Sangita Kalanidhi Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar.

  • UGADHI PURASKAR award by the Madras Telugu Academy.

  • Award from Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer Trust in the year 1999.

  • NADAKANAL award for expertise in Bharathiar’s Songs.

  • Honoured by PRIYA VISION  on the completion of 60 years service of the cause of music. Felicitated by the doyen Sangita Kalanidhi Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer on the occasion.

  • Honoured by NATAYANJALI on the completion of 61 years service to the cause of music. 






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