Mannargudi A. Easwaran

Three score and counting: the perfect accompanist.

Mannargudi A. Easwaran
Mannargudi A. Easwaran is a reputed and popular mridanga vidwan, who through his exemplary ability to enhance, embellish and admirably blend with any style of music, has carved a niche for himself in the field of Carnatic music.

Born on 1 April 1947, in a family that boasts of a lineage of Appayya Dikshitar, a great Sanskrit scholar of the 17th century, Easwaran began his musical journey when he was only four years old and learnt this art from two giants, Kuniseri U. Krishnamani Iyer and Guruvayur Dorai. He began performing at an early age at sabhas, music festivals, and conferences organised by various institutions. He had his formal debut on 12 October 1958 in Chennai. Easwaran recalls with pride and emotion that he prefixed the name of his ancestral village as directed by the Kanchi Paramacharya and became famous as Mannargudi A. Easwaran. He also cherishes the gift from his father—a gold chain with single rudraksha—which he always wears around his neck.

Easwaran served All India Radio as a Staff Artiste for 23 years and retired as a “Grade One” instrumentalist. A top-grade artist of All India Radio and Doordarshan, he has performed in a number of Radio Sangeet Sammelans. He had the privilege of taking part in the silver jubilee celebrations of India’s Independence held at the Red Fort, New Delhi in 1972. He is a much sought-after-mridangist and has accompanied a wide range of artists—vocalists and instrumentalists, men and women, across several generations—from maestros of yesteryear to young stars of today. The list of vocalists and instrumentalists he has accompanied over the years reads like a Who’s Who of Carnatic music. Easwaran has been travelling worldwide for concerts including countries like the U.S.A., Canada, the U.K., Singapore, Malaysia, France, Australia, and Japan, which he has visited several times… read more