Karaikudi Sambasiva Iyer

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Karaikudi Sambasiva Iyer
Born 1888
Thirukokarnam, Tamil Nadu
Died 1958 (aged 69–70)
Genres Carnatic music
Occupation(s) instrumentalist
Instruments Veena

Karaikudi Sambasiva Iyer (1888 - 1958) was noted Indian classical musician and Veena player.

In 1952, he was amongst the first awardees of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship the highest honour conferred by Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama.[1]

Early life[edit]

Sambasiva Iyer was born in 1888 in Tirugokarnam, Pudukottai district as the second son to Veena Vidwan Subbiah Iyer. Sambasiva Iyer learnt Veena from his father along with his elder brother Subbarama Iyer. The duo belonged to the seventh generation to carry the family's high unbroken Veena tradition. The two brothers played together as "Karaikudi brothers" and enjoyed an unbroken career from their debut in their teens to the year 1934. Sambasiva Iyer was known for his tremendous hard work or "Asura Sadhaka". His mastery over the instrument was perfect and he constantly toiled to preserve the purity of knowledge he obtained from his ancestors.


He taught and lived at Kalakshetra, a noted arts institution in Chennai.[2]

He was awarded the first Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Veena in 1952, given by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy of Music, Dance & Drama.[3] Also in the same year, he was awarded the Sangita Kalanidhi Award, one of the highest awards in Carnatic music, given by Madras Music Academy.[4]

He died in 1958.

Amongst his noted disciples are Karaikudi Subramanian, Rajeshwari Padmanabhan and Ranganayaki Rajagopalan (b. 1932).[5]

See also[edit]



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