Manakkal Sriram

MANAKKAL SRIRAM was born in a traditional family of music and is the son of Manakkal Rangarajan, one of the senior-most Carnatic musicians today. He has been performing from the age of eight and is the proud disciple of the maestro Palghat Mani Iyer. He was acclaimed as a child prodigy at a time when child prodigies were rare.

His arangetram was for the late Sangita Kalanidhi Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar.  He had the great privilege of accompanying Chembai many times and also accompanied veterans like Veena Balachander, Dr. Balamuralikrishna, Manakkal Rangarajan, T. V. Sankaranarayanan, T. N. Seshagopalan, E. Gayathri and Chitravina Ravikiran. He has played for violin Maestro Dr. L. Subramaniam for great festivals abroad many times and also taken part in fusion concerts with Zubin Mehta.

He has participated in the Tiruvaiyaru Thyagaraja Festival since the age of eight and has been playing regularly in the Music Academy's Annual Festival Series from the year 1972.  He has also bagged the Palani Subramania Pillai Award and Henry Cowell award for the best Mridangist on several occasions from the Music Academy.

He has travelled for concerts widely all over India and also abroad.  He has given marathon concert performances for over seven hours from the age of eight itself and has been participating in the main concerts in AIR and TV right from 1976.  He has also been featured in invited audience programmes arranged by AIR, Radio Sangeetha Sammelanam, etc. In 1971 he gave a jugalbandhi performance with a senior reputed Tabla Artist, in Mumbai Television, at the age of eleven, which was well appreciated.

He has been appreciated by critics such as Subbudu as a child prodigy many times. In a concert, at the age of ten, veteran musician Chembai had challenged him to sing 4 songs continuously without a break.  He took up the challenge bravely and succeeded and was appreciated by Chembai himself on stage.



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