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Top grade artiste



Vankayala Narasimham

The veteran mridamgam vidwan, Vankayala Narasimham, who is the principal of the Bharathi Kalaa Vihara Music School at Gudilova, achieved the distinction of being awarded the highest grade, A Top, as a listed performer of Akashavani (AIR) and Doordarshan, recently.

Born on November 14, 1931, in a family of connoisseurs of Carnatic music - Lakshmana Swamy and Venkata Lakshmi - Narasimham learnt the art from the late maestro Sripada Sanyasi Rao and under the expert tutelage of the late Mullapudi Lakshmana Rao.

Narasimham was featured in a full-fledged concert at the young age of 10. A triple degree-holder (B.Sc., BA and B.Ed.), he worked as a science teacher and quit the post after 22 years of service as he got the job of his liking, AIR staff artiste for mridangam in Visakhapatnam. He retired in 1991.

Winner of many a laurel, including the award of golden `Simhatalaatam' and titles - `Mridanga Kalaa Tapaswi', 'Mridanga Kalaa Praveena' etc. - Narasimham not only accompanied stalwart exponents of the tradition, but also trained many youngsters. His 'chelas' - son Ramana Murthy, Patri Sateesh Kumar, K. Sadguru Charan, B.V.S. Prasad and Mandapaka Ravi, to quote a few - have achieved all-round acclaim as performers and are A class staff artistes in Akashvani studios of Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada. Wellknown as a composer and singer of devotional music, Narasimham enjoys popular demand in the field for AIR and prestigious music sabhas as well.

A.R.S.

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