T.S. SATHYAVATHI – “Rasa reigns supreme”

T.S. Sathyavathi

Dr. T.S. Sathyavathi is a discerning musician and a brilliant speaker. Her felicity with languages, sharpness of intellect, mastery over the subject matter and ability to assess the expectations and limits of her audience come across powerfully in her lectures. The Madras Music Academy is honouring her with the Musicologist award for 2017.

Sathyavathi learnt Carnatic music first from her mother and elder sister Vasantha Madhavi and later from Dr. R.K. Srikantan. She also learnt to play the mridangam from Bangalore K. Venkatram and became quite proficient at it. Sanskrit scholar Lakshmi Tatachar guided her in Sanskrit at the Bangalore University. In a way, she had unwittingly acquired the prerequisites for studying musicology.

Veteran musicologist B.V.K. Sastry steered Sathyavathi towards formal musicology. He had a large collection of music-related books acquired during his travels around the country. He often asked her to read Sanskrit books for later discussion. On one such occasion, he gave her a copy of Abhilashitartha Chintamani (Manasollasa). “I must say that he virtually handed the topic for my doctoral research on a platter!”said Sathyavathi. She was awarded a Ph.D from the Department of Sanskrit, Bangalore University for her research and subsequent thesis on “The contributions of Abhilashitartha Chintamani to Indian music”. After that she started taking up many lecture assignments… read more