PUDUCHERRY: Musician Thavil Kongampattu AV Murugaiyan, one of the recipients of the Padma Shri, welcomes the announcement made by the Home Office on the occasion of the 73rd Republic Day.
“It’s not just an honor for me, but the award given to me will bring joy and encouragement to young musicians to learn Thavil,” Murugaiyan said.
Exhibitor Thavil, 58, who is Pondicherry’s only Padma award recipient, was born in Kongampattu village, near Kandamangalam in Villupuram district. He later settled at Chinna Kottakuppam near Muthialpet in Pondicherry. He is the seventh from Pondicherry to win the Padma award, which includes Padma Bhushan.
His initial training was from his father Vivekanandam, a Thavil musician. Due to his interest in Thavil, Padma Sri Valaiyapatti AR Subramaniam took him as a student and he learned all the art under the guidance of his guru.
Thereafter, he began to pay Thvil at public concerts and continued to play alongside musicians including his guru, the Carnatic vocal music representatives Soolamangalam Sisters, Jayalakshmi and Rajalakshmi, Thirunageswaran TR Subramanian, musicians Nadhaswaram Namagiripettai K Krishnan and Thiruvizha R Jayasankar. He has also accompanied violin maestro L Subramaniyam and tabla maestro Ustad Alla Rakha at concerts.
He is a recipient of several awards including the Kalaimamani Award from the Government of Tamil Nadu in 2006. He was awarded the title of “Aasthana Vidwan” by Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peeda and Sreepuram Golden Temple.
He was an A Plus grade artist on All India Radio who also gave concerts in several international countries and represented India at the “Festival de l’Inde” in Paris. He is Thvil’s teacher at the government music school in Villupuram, where he has taught over 300 students during his 23 years of service at the school.