The Nightingale in Spring!

Sriram Venkatkrishnan, in his latest encore piece in the Hindu, writes about N C Vasanthakokilam:

Almost the first big singing opportunity was at the Music Academy’s annual conference of 1938, presided over by Ariyakkudi Ramanuja Iyengar and declared open by the Yuvaraja of Mysore. The first prize in vocal music went to Vasanthakokilam. From then on, she became a musician in demand. While the Academy was her launch-pad, it was the Indian Fine Arts Society, with its long tradition of supporting women artistes, that gave her many concert opportunities. Yet another Sabha that featured her often was the Nellai Sangeetha Sabha in Tirunelveli.

Apart from the glamour of the silver screen that she brought with her, Vasanthakokilam’s music offered plenty to attract audiences. The voice was high-pitched and clear and was easily able to bring off brigas. She had a large repertoire and sang plenty of Tamil songs. She made several of Shuddhananda Bharatiyar’s songs famous. The Tamil Isai movement, gaining ground in the 1940s found in her a ready supporter. She was a regular at the festivals of the Tamil Isai Sangam. The Tyagaraja Aradhana also saw her perform each year between 1942 and 1951.

An interesting and informative piece; take a look!

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