Tandalam Krishnamachari Rangachari (TKR) was one of the foremost exponents of Carnatic music, known for bringing a fresh and exciting tinge to his performances. Though very few recordings of his music remain today these are appreciated for the fine performances they are, enjoyed by young and old alike, especially in the music community.
Rangachari was born at Varahaneri, a suburb of Tiruchirapalli on 3 June 1912. His mother Rajalakshmi Ammal, a music teacher, taught him his first music lessons. As a child, he was fondly called ‘Tavil Rangan’ for his propensity to drum rhythmic sequences on household pots and pans. His mother passed away when Rangan was just ten and his upbringing was largely thanks to his grandmother in Srirangam. His first guru was Kodaganallur Subbiah Bhagavatar, a musical giant and a disciple of Konerirajapuram Vaidhyanata Iyer. Young Rangachari underwent rigorous training under the traditional gurukula system imbibing his guru’s unique aspects, namely, control over briga, niraval in three speeds and laya vinyasam. TKR’s first concert was at the tender age of ten at the Pattamadai high school near Tirunelveli, where he enthralled the audience with a fascinating rendition of Dvaitamu sukhama – the Tyagaraja masterpiece in Reetigaula raga. …more