(April 21, 1925 - October 13, 2000)


Kandadevi Alagiriswamy was one of the foremost violinists of Carnatic music. His demise yesterday, the 13th October 2000 is indeed a great loss. Carnatica pays its tributes to this veteran.

Son of Sundararaja Iyengar and Alamelu Ammal, Alagiriswamy was born at Kandadevi near Devakottai on April 21, 1925. He started training in violin at the tender age of 11, from his grandfather, Srinivasa Iyengar and Kandadevi Chellam Iyengar. In 1940, he switched over to T Chowdiah for advanced training. 

He made his debut by accompanying his guru T Chowdiah at the latter's solo concert in Mysore. From then, there was no turning back for Alagiriswamy. He was immediately invited to accompany the top vocalist of those times, Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar at Devakottai. Since then he was very much sought-after as an accompanist and has provided accompaniment to several leading artistes.

He has travelled widely within India and accompanied stalwarts like M S Subbulakshmi and P S Narayanaswami to countries like USA, UK, Ceylon, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Japan and Hong Kong. Not surprisingly, he was bestowed with prestigious awards and titles like the Kalaimamani, the Tamilnadu State Award and Tanti Nada Visarada by the Sankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.

He was known for his religiosity and modesty and enjoyed popularity among musicians and music lovers. Carnatic music has indeed lost one of its great assets.

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