An Hour with the Legend V S Narasimhan-Part 1
Posted on: September 29, 2012. Comments ( 1 )

Author: ‘Bale’ Sampat, a Chartered Accountant and a Carnatic Musician.

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Mr. V.S.Narasimhan (VSN) is a well-known Composer, Music director and Founder and First violinist of the Madras String QuartetVSN had played violin for the leading music directors including A R Rahman and Illayaraja.

In this Two-Part article, Bale Sampat (Bale) interviews VSN.

VSN with Illayaraja VSN with Illayaraja, R D Burman and other Musicians

Listen to V S Narasimhan playing “Thulasidala Mulache” in How to name it of Illaiyaraja

Over to the Interview:

Bale: When did you start learning violin and from whom?
VSN: I started learning violin (Carnatic Music) when I was five from my father Sri V S Srinivasa Iyengar.My father was a Gottuvadyam Vidwan. He was a disciple of Gottuvadhyam Narayana Iyengar, grandfather of Chitraveena Ravikiran. He was adept at playing various instruments such as Veena, Violin, Flute and had collection various instruments including Cello and Dhilruba.
Bale: Then you belong to music family..
VSN: Yes, indeed ! My father used to say my great grandfather was a great violin vidwan and considered him as his idol. Many Vidwans used to visit my house at Mysore and I grew up in musical environment.
Bale: Please tell us about your concert accompanying
VSN: After a few years, I started accompanying my father on violin and also accompanied many vidwans who came to Mysore to participate in the Ramanavami music festival.
Bale: When did you start playing for films?
VSN: I started playing for films from the age of 14 when Premier Studio was started in Mysore. Around 1958, I came to Chennai and played for Vijayabhaskar recording. In 1959, I settled in Chennai permanently and started playing for the music directors Ghantasala, Salluri Rajeswara Rao, Pendiyala Nagaswara Rao, Aswathama. Through Sekar, father of A R Rahman, I played for Devarajan, M S Baburaj in Malayalam films.
Bale: Your exposure to Western Music
VSN: Mr. Piano Diwakar, a great pianist, encouraged my playing. He played piano in films. I used to go my friend Babu (Son of the great Salluri Rajeswara Rao) and listened to western Music on LP. During this period, I used to listen to western music practice session of group of musicians headed by Mr. Malcolm Ranjore, a violinist. I also joined the group. In the meantime Mr. Adrian L’Armand, an Australian, came to Chennai to learn carnatic music and he used to play in K V Mahadevan’s orchestra.

I learnt western music from Mr. Adrian L’Armand alongwith Mr. K.N.Ramasubramanian. Mr Adrian helped me a great deal for my L.T.C.L. examination of Trinity College of Music, London. Mr. Edward van Ness, an American Fullbright Scholar, suggested Malcolm Ranjore’s group to be christened as Madras Chamber Orchestra and I functioned as the leader. Mr. Edward recommended our Orchestra to American and German Consulate and we performed there with me leading the orchestra. We had also participated as a part of a bigger Orchestra, The Indian National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Mr. Buller. Many years later, due to professional work, Madras Chamber Orchestra was dismantled.

(V S Narasimhan played the violin solo in the film Rajaparvai and in the albums ‘How to name it’ &’Nothing but Wind’, by the great composer Illaiyaraja.  Let us listen to that)

Raja Paarvai How to name it

Answer for last week’s Quiz: Our Ex President Mr Abdul Kalam is adept at playing Veena

Quiz for this week: What is the song which inspired Kalayana Samaiyal Sadham of Mayabhazar?

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‘Bale’ Sampat, a Chartered Accountant and a Carnatic Musician, lives in Chennai and teaches Piano.


Comments (1)


    Sowrirajan says:

    Nice to hear

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