Nadasurabhi Cultural Association located in Koramangala, Bangalore is in the forefront of promoting Classical Carnatic Music. Nadasurabhi conducts the highest quality music concerts every month and a week-long Annual Festival in November, free of charge to all rasikas. Our other events include a youth festival, Thyagaraja and Purandaradasa Aradhana, and music competitions for children.

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Madurai Mani Iyer Centenary Concert- 15th July 2012

Madurai Mani Iyer Centenary Concert- 15th July 2012
15.07.12 04.15 pm
The Indian Heritage Academy Hall - 6th Block, Koramangala,BangaloreMap

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Padma Bhushan Sangita Kalanidhi Sri.T.V.Sankaranarayanan    

Vidwan Mahadevan Sankaranarayanan  


Vocal Support

Vidwan C.N.Chandrashekar Violin
Vidwan Arjun Kumar Mridangam
Vidwan Giridhar Udupa Ghatam

Madurai Mani Iyer Centenary Concert

Concert Review

Nadasurabhi held a special programme on Sunday, 15th July 2012, at the Indian Heritage Academy Hall to mark the Birth Centenary of legendary Carnatic Musician Sri.Madurai Mani Iyer. Most appropriately, the nephew, student and leading vocalist of today Sangita Kalanidhi Padmabhushan Vidwan T.V.Sankaranarayanan was invited to participate in the event and provide a vocal concert. The hall was packed to capacity and overflowing even before the commencement of the event.The function started with the traditional lighting of lamp and garlanding of the portrait of Madurai Mani Iyer by Sri. Sankaranarayanan. He also gave a moving speech of his special relationship with his maternal uncle Sri.Mani Iyer, living under the same roof right from the time of his birth till the passing away of Sri.Mani Iyer. He shared various personal and professional anecdotes concerning Sri.Mani Iyer. Sri.Sankaranarayanan talked about the humility practised by his uncle as well as the great respect he always showed to the audience, organisers and composers in all his concerts. Sri.Sankaranarayanan also mentioned about his  indebtedness to his own father Sri.Vembu Iyer who sacrificed his personal career to support his guru Sri.Mani Iyer. The audience was truly touched by the deep feeling, sincerity and affection with which Sri. Sankaranarayanan spoke about his illustrious guru and uncle, the inimitable Mahavidwan Madurai Sri.Mani Iyer.

Sri.TV Sankaranarayanan (TVS) started his concert in style with his own viruttam on Pazhavangadu Ganapathi in Abhogi followed by Vigneswara Subhakaaraka with a fine set of brisk swaras thus kick starting a great evening's programme. The next item was Jaanaki Ramana of Thyagaraja with neraval and swarams making it a grand piece. He made a surprise inclusion of a ragamalika Purandaradasa kriti which had a balancing lightness amidst all the other heavy pieces. One of Madurai Mani Iyer's (MMI) specialties, Enta Veduko, a Thyagaraja kriti in Saraswathi manohari with alapana, neraval and swaram was an extremely impressive and forceful presentation. Sri.TVS's son Mahadevan was given an opportunity to present raga Lathangi in which Venkata Ramana, a papanasam sivan composition was rendered once again with neraval and swarams. Most swaraprastharas were shared by Sri.TVS and his son. The 'Main" was an elaboration of Kharaharapriya and MMI magnum opus Chakkani raaja was presented in all its grandeur. Mention should be made of Mahadevan's brilliant swara korvais and the audience was simply bowled over who reciprocated with a standing ovation. Thani avarthanam at this stage and an understanding and forceful following by the popular percussion duo Sri.Arjun Kumar and Sri.Giridhar Udupa, elevated the overall standard of the concert.

MMI specialities, Sarasamukhi, Eppo Varuvaaro, and western notes were the tail pieces with which this brilliant concert concluded. Sri. CN Chandrasekhar on violin gave outstanding support throughout the concert.


Madurai Mani Iyer, one of the most admired Carnatic musicians of all time had a unique inimitable style of simplicity and perfection in his presentations. He is known for his vast and deep knowledge of the technical aspects of our music system. Personally everyone who had come in contact with him were stunned by his humility, sincere friendship, respect for the audience and organisers and universal love to all fellow human beings. In a year long programme, his Birth Centenary Year - 2012- is being celebrated by all carnatic music rasikas. Nadasurabhi dedicates the concert on 15th July 2012 to the memory of this musical legend, with a concert of his prime disciple and nephew Padma Bhushan Sangita Kalanidhi. Sri.T.V.Sankaranarayanan and party.

Brief Biography of Sri.Mani Iyer

The carnatic music legend Madurai Sri.Mani Iyer was born on October 25, 1912 and his Centenary celebrations are being held all over the world in grand style. Sri. Mani Iyer's father, Sri. Ramaswami Iyer wanted his only son to follow the legacy of his brother Sri. Pushpavanam, who was a star that shone during the first two decades of the twentieth century. His gurus were Sri. Rajam Bhagavathar from whom he learnt to be a specialist in swarams and Sri. Harkesavanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar from who he learnt the importance of Sruti. He used to listen to the great nadaswara vidwans and veena vidwans of his time. This had a great influence on his singing. He also took 
Mazhavarayanendal Subbarama Bhagavathar as his maanaseeha guru and learnt the beauty of singing sarvalaghu patterns.He learnt a number of Thyagaraja kritis from Sri Madurai Nagaswamy Bhagavathar who was a great reservoir of all Thyagaraja kritis. Also, Madurai Mani Iyer learnt Muthuswami dikshitar kritis from Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavatar.

Among his contemporaries, Mani Iyer was deeply inspired by Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyers music. It appears that he never allowed anyone to criticize it. It is told that one could find the influence of Viswanatha Iyer on Mani Iyer's rendition of Mohanam, Shudha Saveri and Durbar. Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar who was another doyen, the ideal for all the younger musicians, had a great impact on Mani Iyer. Like all his contemporaries, Mani Iyer hailed the concert pattern set by Sri Ariyakudi and followed the style meticulously. Mani also became a great admirer of Papanasam Sivan and learned many Tamil Krithis directly from Sivan. He enriched his repertoire with almost all the varities like Thevaram, Thiruvachakam, Thiruvarutpa, Slokams (from Ramayanam and Mukundamala), Padams, Javalis, Gopalakrishna Bharathiar songs, Subramanya Bharathi songs, Ramanataka Krithis and various other krithis by tamil, telugu and kannada composers.

Mani Iyer's performances in those days consisted of many rare Krithis and he sang apoorva ragas elaborately which puzzled his accompanists. Though he got appreciations from the critics and connoisseurs it mostly puzzled the common rasika. Some of the senior artists who were then accompanying Sri.Mani Iyer like Semmangudi Narayanaswamy Iyer (the uncle of Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer) and Vidwan Marungapuri Gopalakrishna Iyer advised him that he should concentarte on Ghana raagas. Sri.Mani Iyer in all humility took their advice seriously and started giving importance to well known heavy ragas like Thodi, Kalyani, Kambodhi, etc.,

In 1944, due to some health problems, Sri.Mani Iyer could not give stage performances for more than a year. During this period he adapted his singing style to compensate for the limitations that the illness had brought to his voice. Due to his extraordinary will power and love for carnatic music, he came back to the concert stage and gave a concert at the Parimala Ranganathar Temple in Mayavaram in 1945 during the festival.  The audiences were thrilled to listen to the fresh voice of Mani Iyer, which had the earlier magic along with a new majestic effect. That was when he introduced unusual syllables like ooo, eee, yee, while he reached higher octaves and La La in the middle and lower octaves. People loved it and crowds thronged for MMI concerts. This method of singing became his unique trade mark.

In 1943- 'Ganakaladhara' with concert in front of a 20000 strong audience in Thanjavur.
In 1959- 'Sangeeta Kalanidhi'. from the Music Academy, Madras. Incidentally from 1927, Mani Iyer sang at the Academy on all the annual conferences till 1967 without break!
In 1960, Sri Mani Iyer was awarded the 'Sangeeth Nataka Academy Award' instituted by the Central Govt. The President of India, Babu Rajendra Prasad presided over the function held at New Delhi, and presented the title to Shri Mani Iyer.
In 1963 Mani Iyer was awarded the 'Isai Perarignar' title by the Tamil Isai Sangam complimenting his services for the Tamil Isai movement since its inception in 1939.

Besides music, MMI had other interests too and one of them was the English language. He loved Bernard Shaw and was a fan of Charlie Chaplin. On June 8th 1968, Sri.Madurai Mani Iyer joined his maker after handing over the mantle of upholding and carrying forward his tradition to his loved nephew Sri.TV Sankaranarayanan.

Sri.Madurai Mani Iyer has lived with us for 100 years through his music and there is no doubt that he will continue to live with us as long as there is carnatic music on this planet.



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