Source: The Hindu; Author: P. P. Ramakrishnan; Photo Courtesy: The Hindu

M.D. Ramanathan was a colossus in the Carnatic world. May 20 is MDR Day. It was Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer who used the epithet ‘a musician among musicians’ to describe Manjappra Devesan Ramanathan, popularly referred to as MDR. He did it with his outstanding knowledge of sangita, which was sharpened under the tutelage of Tiger Varadachari, in the serene atmosphere of Kalakshetra. His musical voyage was supplemented by the education he received even in those days — he was a science graduate from the Victoria College, Palakkad. His hunger for learning languages including Sanskrit, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada, helped him interpret the compositions on the concert platform. In his own compositions, he used the mudra ‘Varadadasa’, which brought out his gurubhakti for Tiger Varadachari.

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