Rani Vijaya Devi

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Rani Vijaya Devi, Thakurani of Kotda-Sangani [1] (b. 28 August 1922, Mysore; d. December 8, 2005, Bangalore, India) was the eldest daughter of Late Yuvaraja Kanteerava Narasimha Raja Wadiyar and sister of Maharaja Jaya Chamaraja Wadiyar. Her early formative years were spent in the palace where the family's rich cultural atmosphere left a deep impression on her.

The young princess grew up steeped in Carnatic music and dance, and became proficient in playing the Veena. At the age of six, she also commenced formal piano lessons at the Palace, and progressed through to the Fellowship examination of the Trinity College of Music, London under the tutelage of Dr. Alfred Mistowski, Professor of Trinity College.

After her marriage to the Thakore Saheb of Kotda-Sangani in 1941, Rani Vijaya Devi continued studying the piano in India, and later at the Juilliard School of Music, New York, with Professor Edward Steuermann, during her husband's diplomatic posting there. An accomplished concert pianist, she has recorded for radio and television, and appeared in concerts in Hong Kong and India.

She was the founder and President of the International Music & Arts Society. It was established to augment Bangalore’s existing cultural scene by providing an international forum for Indian and foreign musicians and artistes. Designed by the English artist-dramatist-teacher, David Horsburgh, the Society's logo embodies the spirit of the arts of both East and West.

Over the last twenty-five years, the Society has worked in collaboration with other organizations such as the ICCR and USIS, and European embassies and cultural centers. This effort has enabled a wide audience to enjoy the works of some of the finest international exponents of the performing and visual arts of our time.

The past Patrons of the Society have included the Governors of Karnataka and Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale, and currently, the Governor of Maharashtra Sri. S. M. Krishna, and Sri. Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar.

She died on December 8, 2005 at a private hospital in Bangalore.

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