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Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Mysore Veena spoke in His Hands

Sangeetha Kalanidhi V. Doreswamy Iyengar (1997)

Reminiscences from R. Sachi

We are happy to share on the eve of Ugadi a beautiful veena concert from 1997 of Vidwan Doreswamy Iyengar. His concert in the first year of the Ramanavami festival, 1970, has already been shared here.

The featured concert of 1997 would be his last in Parvathi since he left his mortal coil in the same year.

In this concert, even at the age of 77, Sri Doreswamy Iyengar has shown his famous touch of class. Ragas like Narayanagowla, Harikambhoji, Purvikalyani and Todi come out in splendid finery. His veena speaks and sings with such melody. The tempo is really easy on the ears. The concert shows what Sri Doreswamy Iyengar was most loved for... the true sweetness of the Mysore Veena bani.

Sri Iyengar shared a close friendship with Mr. K. Srikantiah and used to spend long hours with him and RK Narayan, the famous writer in the beautiful city of Mysore. The three formed a kind of three musketeers. Sri Doreswamy Iyengar was honoured by the home of Parvathi during the silver jubilee of the Parvathi concerts in 1994 (photo here).

Here is a translation of the page on Sri Doreswamy Iyengar in the Kannada musical encyclopedia, “Karnataka Sangita Vishaya Vishwa Kosha” (author Dr. V.S. Sampathkumaracharya, pub. DVK, Mysore, 2012):


Veene Doreswamy Iyengar (1920-1997)

A famous contemporary vainika, V. Doreswamy Iyengar was born in 1920 in the family of Veena and Flute maestro Venkatesha Iyengar. He began his musical training under his father on the veena and later received advanced training under Asthana Vidwan Vainika Venkatagiriyappa. He performed when he was 14 in the presence of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wodeyar and received the king’s appreciation. He passed BA in Mysore Maharaja’s College.

His first public performance was in 1943 Ramotsava in Bangalore. Since then he has performed at every venue known for Carnatic music, and also Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi and other cities. Apart from solo appearances nationwide, he has performed with Ali Akbar Khan and Halim Jaffer Khan. He has performed duets with T. Chowdiah for over 10 years. He has performed with Dr. Balamurali Krishna in a veena-viola duet. He represented India at the international music conference in Shiraz, Iran in 1969. He travelled and performed in many concerts in Europe and America. He served for several years until retirement as the music producer in AIR, Bangalore. He was awarded the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1970. He was the eighth president of the Bangalore Gayana Samaja conference and received the title Sangeetha Kala Ratna. The Mysore University awarded him an honorary doctorate.

Iyengar’s veena style touches the heart. His plucking is majestic in gait, pleasant always and melodious. His raga essays are filled with rich manodharma and his kalpana swaras show great expertise. His style of play is predominantly gayaki. Natakurinji, Hamir Kalyani, Todi, Kalyani, Shankarabharana, Kharaharapriya, Kambhoji, Shanmukhapriya, Jinjhuti, Darbari Kanada – in these ragas, his renditions showcase his unique style. He received the Padma Bhushan from the Government of India. He served as the head of Karanataka Sangeetha Nataka Academy. He presided over the 1984 conference of the Madras Music Academy and was conferred the Sangeetha Kalanidhi title.

Among his numerous disciples are his son D. Balakrishna and Mysore C. Krishnamurthy.


Concert Details

V.Doreswamy Iyengar ----------- Veena
D.Balakrishna ---------- Veena accompaniment
Cheluvaraj ---------------- Mridangam
M.A.Krishnamurthy ----- Ghatam
on 24-4-97 during Ramanavami.

Song List

1. Sarasuda- Saveri varnam - Kothavasal Venkatarama Iyer *** 2. Vallabha Nayakasya-Begada-Muthuswami Dikshitar *** 3. Teliyaleru Rama - Dhenuka- Thyagaraja *** 4. Shobhillu- Jaganmohini-Thyagaraja *** 5. Chani Todi-Harkambhoji-Thyagaraja *** 6. Ninnuvinaga mari- Purvi Kalyani- Shyama Shastri *** 7. Narayanagowla Tana+Sri Ramam- Thyagaraja *** 8. Tani 9. Koluvamaragada-Todi-Thyagaraja *** 10. Marulukonnadira - Khamach Javali- Ramnad Srinivasa Iyengar *** 11. Sapashyat- Jaunpuri - Panchapakesha Shastri *** 12. ??Jinjhuti 13. Mangalam