Artist in Profile:
Madurai T.N. Seshagopalan

Sri Madurai T.N. Seshagopalan, the celebrated Carnatic musician and composer had his initial musical training under his mother and Sri. Ramanathapuram C. S. Sankarasivan (a great disciple of Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavathar, the eminent musician and composer). (Sri Sankarasivan is the elder brother and guru of the famous mridangist C S Murugaboopathy).

Seshagopalan holds a degree in Science from Madras University and a degree in music from Madurai University. He has served as professor of music at Madurai University. He has been showered with innumerable titles and laurels among which are: "Tiruppukazh Mani" (conferred by Justice Krishnaswami Iyer of Travancore in 1964); "Kalai Maamani" (bestowed by Tamil Nadu Govt. in 1984); "Isai Selvam" (conferred by Mr. Karunanidi, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu); "Sangeetha Choodamani"; "Asthana Vidwan" (conferred by the Paramacharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Matt); and the prestigious "Sangeetha Kalanidhi" awarded by the Madras Music Academy in 2006.

Seshagopalan's fame has not been just within the boundaries of India. In 1984 he was invited to sing at the Adelaide International Festival in Australia (and included performances Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and New Zealand). In 1987 he was India's cultural ambassador to Russia. He has performed in Singapore, Malaysia, Bahrain, and Sri Lanka and has visited and performed in the United States on countless occassions.

A musical genius, Seshagopalan has been endowed with an enchanting and melodious voice that has captured the hearts and souls of music lovers in India and abroad. He renders the most intricate ragas with mellow grace, subtlety, and absolute ease. His raga renditions are woven with unique sangathis and brikhas that beautifully color his performances. He is very well known for his breath-taking sweep in all aspects of Carnatic music: Alapana, Neraval, Kalpanaswara prastharas, Ragam-Thanam-Pallavis, Kirthanas, Thirupugazhs, Thukkadas, and ragamalika viruttams.

A master of swara compositions, Seshagopalan continues to increase his stupendous repertoire with compositions of his own. He is noted for his own elegant Thillana compositions, devotional Bhajans, Namavalis, and Abhangs.

Beyond his expertise in Carnatic music, he is equally well-versed with North Indian ragas. He has participated in several Jugalbandis with such Hindustani notables as Ustad Rashid Khan.

In addition to his vocal talent, Seshagopalan is an accomplished instrumentalist on both the veena and harmonium.

Seshagopalan's singing technique has the knack of transferring and communicating the most intricate musical expression with ease, simplicity and aesthetic charm. Blessed by the Goddess Meenakshi, presiding deity in the temple in Madurai, Seshagopalan is indeed a musical marvel.

Profile Information from Carnatic Corner

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