Well-known Vainika, Sarada Sivanandam, wife of Sangeeta Kalanidhi K P Sivanandam, with whom she gave Vina duets for several decades, passed away in the early hours of 29th October 2001. She was 73. 

Her son Sivakumar, who is himself a Vina and Violin guru said that on a regular visit to her doctor about three weeks ago, they learnt that her ECG reports were not normal. Smt. Sivanandam was then admitted to the Sundaram Medical Foundation where her health soon deteriorated. She was however conscious till her last days and passed away peacefully in her sleep.

Smt. Sivanandam was a respected artiste among her peers with her traditional bani and approach. Apart from a fairly successful concert career, she also held several teaching positions. Among the institutions she served as a lecturer/professor in Vina were the Music College of Tiruvaiyyar, Central College of Carnatic Music, Chennai, Annamalai University, Chidambaram and the Teacher's College of Music (Music Academy), Chennai. She was awarded the title of Kalaimamani by the Government of Tamilnadu in 1983. She is mourned by her family and the entire music fraternity. 

Quotes from disciples:

Revathi Krishna, the well-known Vainika: "She was a very affectionate person, who was more a mother to me than a Guru. I cannot forget what I have learnt from her, having been her disciple for 20 years. During classes, if I did not get something right, she would patiently teach it again and again till I got it right. I have always felt like one among her children, who were also like my sisters and brothers."

Jayashree, a BA Music graduate, and Smt. Sivanandam's disciple in the Central College of Carnatic Music, Chennai, when she was the Head of the Department says, "I learnt from her almost till her last days, up to the first week of October. Her main focus was on Gamakas, the specialty of the Tanjavur bani. Always a perfectionist, she ensured that we also worked hard and strive for it. She never saw us disciples as mere students, but treated us as a mother would treat her daughters. No teacher can replace her in my life."

Sumati: "It was a wonderful learning experience with my Vina teacher, fondly called "Sarada Teacher". As I remember her, she was a calm, serene person with enormous equanimity. She was patient and yet firm, and would persist till her students "got the note right"! Even when we were a group she had the uncanny ability to find out who missed! It was inspiring to learn Vina under her guidance. She devoted her entire life to music. May her soul rest in peace."

Reported by Pushkala Ramakrishnan


Posted on 1st November 2001


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