K. V. Narayanaswamy

K. V. Narayanaswamy

Musical Artist
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K. V. Narayanaswamy

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Palghat Kollengode Viswanatha Narayanaswamy () (November 15, 1923 - April 1, 2002), often referred to as KVN, was an Indian musician, widely considered to be among the finest Carnatic music vocalists of the 20th century. He was described as the "Gentle Perfect Knight" of Carnatic music, a phrase from Geoffrey Chaucer, by V. K. Narayana Menon, prominent art critic of India and recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship.Dr.Narayana Menon, An Essay on Shri K.V.Narayanaswamy , 1986

Early life and background

KVN was born to Kollengode Viswanathayyar and Muthulakshmi Ammal in Palghat, Kerala, a district renowned for its cultural and musical traditions, on the 15th of November, 1923. Narayanaswamy was born into a family of illustrious musicians and artists. His great-grandfather Viswam Bhagavatar was renowned for his evocative Ashtapadis and rendered services for Maharaja Ayilyam Thirunal, ruler of the princely state of Travancore from 1860 to 1880. In return Viswam Bhagavatar was bestowed with government aid and hereditary royal privileges. Viswam Bhagavatar's son, Narayana Bhagavatar continued his father's legacy. His son was violin maestro, Viswanathayyar (soon came to be known as 'Fiddle' Viswanathayyar), KVN's father. K.V.Narayanaswamy learned basic music lessons under his father and grandfather. After studying in Palghat till the fifth form, he moved to Coimbatore, where he briefly dabbled in theater. KVN even managed a role as the...
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