Galaxy of Composers
Musical Background: Ravikiran is the grandson of the illustrious musician Gotuvadyam Narayana Iyengar and the son of Choodamani and Chitravina Narasimhan. Born on 12th February 1967, he was trained in music even as an infant by his father and was recognised as a child prodigy at the age of 2 1/2, when he could identify over 300 ragas, 175 talas and answer numerous other technical questions. At the age of 5, he gave his first vocal concert. By 8, he had taken to the Chitravina, an old and rare instrument and gave his first Chitravina performance at 12. He is now one of the most popular musicians, known the world-over.

Region: He was born at Mysore, Karnataka but has made Chennai, Tamilnadu his home.


Contribution: At the age of 3 he discovered a raga which he named 'Choodamani', after his mother. He has composed over 380 pieces in various forms like varnam, kriti, javali and tillana. Some of the new concepts he has included are the Swara-kriti. He composed and directed successful ballets like Lakshmi Prabhavam, Savitri, Om Ganesha etc and composed for several other dance works like Panchakriya etc, all before he reached the age of 30. He was invited to compose and direct the BBC Philharmonic in 2000, which was selected as the top event of the Millennium Festival in UK, the first Carnatic musician to be bestowed the honour. He has also composed a 35-tala set in the 35 talas.

Theme: His themes range from the devotional to philosophical to the romantic to the humourous. Many of his compositions are contextual and thus include a variety of emotions.

Languages used: Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi

Signature: He uses the mudra Ravi-Shashi.

Popular compositions: Kritis like Saravanabhava (Bilahari), tillanas in Kalyanavasantam, Hamsanadam; varnams in Yadukulakambhoji etc.


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