T. K. Murthy

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T. K. Murthy
Born (1924-08-13) 13 August 1924 (age 90)
Genres Carnatic music
Instruments mridangam
Years active 1934–present
Website T K Murthy

T. K. Murthy (born 13 August 1924) is an Indian mridangam player.

Early life[edit]

Murthy was born on 13 August 1924 to Thanu Bhagavathar and Annapoorani. At the age of eight, he was guided to Tanjore Vaidyanatha Iyer. Vaidyanatha Iyer, took Murthy to Tanjore, where Palghat Mani Iyer and Thambuswami, brother of T. M. Thiagarajan, were also undergoing training. Murthy, was more than a biological son, to his Guru Vaidyanatha Iyer and his wife. They showered love and care on him. Thus, Murthy found his mentor in Vaidyanatha Iyer, to whom he still offers ceremonial oblations and rites as a true son.


Murthy made his debut at the age of eleven, at Coimbatore in a concert of Musiri Subramania Iyer with Karur Chinnaswami Iyer on violin and Tanjore Vaidyanatha Iyer on mridangam. That was the start of an illustrious career in which he accompanied in more than 15,000 concerts so far. He has accompanied eminent artists over five generations, including Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavatar, Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Chembai Vaidhyanatha Bagavathar, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, M. S. Subbulakshmi, Madurai Somasundaram, D. K. Jayaraman, M. Balamuralikrishna, Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan, Lalgudi Jayaraman, T. V. Sankaranarayanan, Mandolin U. Srinivas and others.

Contribution and recognition[edit]

He has the unique achievement of accompanying five generations of guru-sishya parampara, in Muthiah Bhagavatar, Ramanathapuram C. S. Sankarsivam, T. N. Seshagopalan, Neyveli Santhanagopalan and Sriram Parthasarathy. He also has the distinction of having given accompaniment to Smt M.S.Subbulakshmi for more than forty years including the concerts at United Nations and Edinburgh Festival.

Plenty of Honours and awards were bestowed on him including:- Laya Ratnakara from Sivananda Saraswati, Rishikesh, Kalaimamani from the T.N. Iyal Isai Nataka Mandram, Mridanga Bhoopathy from Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, Mridanga Bhooshanam from Sri Sankaracharya of Kanchipuram, Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 1987, Palghat Mani Iyer Award by Percussive Arts Centre, Bangalore, Tala Vilas Award by Sur Singar Samsad, Bombay, Kerala Sangeet Nataka Academy Fellowship, Sangeetha Kalanidhi of The Music Academy.

He was also conferred with Honorary Doctorate from Arizona University, USA. He was the Asthana Vidwan in Trivandrum Palace. He is a graded “National Artiste” of Prasar Bharathi.


His class and mastery reverberated in many countries around the world, such as Sri Lanka, Edinburgh, Rome, United Nations, USA, Germany, Paris, Geneva, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, London etc. His versatility is such that he played for street drama, puppet show, Barathanatyam, etc., sings well in Carnatic and Hindustani styles, plays Ghatam, Kanjira and other percussion instruments with ease. He is a master in Konnakol as well. He is the only Artiste in the world to have composed and played Mohra and Korvai for 35 Talas, 72 Melakartha Talas and also for 108 Talas.

“MRUDANGA CHAKRAVARTHY DR. T. K. MURTHY SCHOOL OF MUSIC AND TRUST” celebrated the LIFE TIME ACHIEVEMENT AND THE PLATINUM JUBILEE OF DR.T.K.MURTHY on 7.7.2009, 8.7.2009 and 9.7.2009 at the Music Academy, Chennai. The function was presided over by Shri.N.Murali (President, Music Academy) and Ustad Zakir Hussain and Shri. Vinayakaram (Ghatam) were the chief guests for the function. Also the function was followed by a concert with all these rhythm stalwarts starring in the show.


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