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Vani Sateesh

Vani Sateesh has been fortunate and blessed to have had great gurus who have influenced every aspect of her musical abilities. Her initial training was under the tutelage of her uncle Bellary M. Sheshagiri Achar, later from her father Sangeetha Ratna (conferred by Bangalore Gayana Samaja) Bellary M. Venkateshachar and her brother Bellary M. Raghavendra. She is currently under the tutelage of Padmabhushana Sri P.S.Narayanaswamy, direct disciple of Sangeetha Kalanidhi Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer.

Vani Sateesh
Bellary Brothers  
Born and brought up in Bellary (part of North Karnataka), the two brothers became well known as Bellary brothers. They performed extensively in major sabhas across the nation in 1950’s and 1960’s. People who have listened to their music during their hay days recall it as ‘Innovative, spontaneous, intense performance filled with rich classicality and soul touching devotion’. It is unfortunate to the world of music that very few of these concerts were recorded for posterity. Bellary Brothers were accompanied in numerous concerts by stalwarts such as Palghat Mani Iyer, Lalgudi G. Jayaraman, Palghat Raghu, T. K. Murthy, M.S. Gopalakrishnan, Umayalapuram Shivaraman, T. N. Krishnan, Karaikudi Mani etc.

Bellary M. Sheshagiriachar was a vaggeyakara (one who composes both music and lyric) of high repute. He has composed over 400 compositions. One of the notable aspects of his compositions was, circumstance driven and spontaneous, even having composed in languages that he did not know. He has composed varnams, kritis and devotional songs in 5 different languages. He lost his voice at his peak due to vocal chord paralysis. Inspite of this setback he continued to perform and teach. He was an inspiring teacher who has produced many performing artists and taught music for over 30 years. He was a reader in Bangalore University music department. Unfortunately, he passed away at an early age of 50 leaving an ocean of music for laymen listeners and music connoisseurs.

Bellary M. Venkateshachar, elder of the two was an AIR artist in Mysore. He was endowed with a rich and sonorous voice. He has done a great service to the field of music by having taught hundreds of students over a period of 50 years. Many of them are well known musicians around the globe. Besides being asthana Vidwan of many institutions, he has received numerable awards and recognitions. ‘Sangeetha Kalaratna’ awarded by Bangalore Gayana Samaja, ‘Sangeetha Vidyanidhi’ awarded by Mysore JSS Sabha and Karnataka State award ‘Sangeetha Kalashree’ are a few to name. He is an A Top ranking artist of All India Radio.

Bellary M. Sheshagiriachar
Bellary M. Venkateshachar
As a teacher  
A well known artist and teacher from Karnataka, Bellary M Raghavendra is an A graded artist of All India Radio. He had his music training under his father Sangeetha Kalaratna Bellary M. Venkateshachar and his uncle Bellary M. Sheshagiriachar. He has performed extensively throughout the nation. He is well known in delivering compositions with clarity, emotion and good use of rhythmic patterns.

Raghavendra is a dedicated music teacher who has a rare ability to identify and groom music students based on their individual strengths. In addition to being a vocalist, he is well versed in Konnakkol (Solfas) and Morsing. He has learnt Hindustani music and also performed jugalbandis with eminent Hindustani vocalists. Raghavendra has presented numerous illustrative talks and demonstrations on music. He has toured Europe and Canada along with TAS Mani Ensemble.

He is currently a program executive in All India Radio, producing music based programmes such as Aaswaada (programme on music appreciation), Swarasangama (programme on music lessons) and many musical features, which are highly popular among music lovers and general public.


Bellary M Raghavendra
As a teacher  
Born on February 24, 1934, at Konerirajapuram, to Dr. P. N. Subramaniam, a medical practitioner, Pichai exhibited his talent in music at a very tender age and his parents put him under Thirupampuram Somasundaram Pillai, a nagaswaram vidwan, for his music lessons. PSN made rapid progress and later came under Sangitakalanidhi Mudikondan Venkatarama Iyer, and then under Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer. Under the gurukulavasa system, he joined Semmangudi in the early 1950s. PSN had started giving concerts, both public and through All India Radio, at the age of 15.

Blessed with a powerful voice, Narayanaswami absorbed the special aspects of the music of all stalwart musicians of the last century, carving out a style of his own, even though the Semmangudi style was clearly perceptible in his renditions. As his voice responded very well to fast tempo music, his style became `briga' oriented. He has had the privilege of being accompanied by stalwarts of the last century.

PSN's own students, who have made a significant mark on the concert platform, comprise a large number. This list consists of not only vocalists but also violinists and other instrumentalists. PSN served All India Radio, Chennai, as a conductor of the Vadya Vrinda, and he is accredited with a number of symphonies. Setting to music a number of compositions is another aspect of his musical virtuosity. `Tiru Arutpa' was set to music by him and this was presented by him at a recent conference of the Music Academy, along with his students.

Narayanswami has been the recipient of many awards and titles. He received the title, `Bala Gana Kala Rathnam' when he was just 12 years old. In 2000, he was conferred the title, `Sangeetha Kala Acharya' by the Music Academy. The `Padma Bhushan' awarded to him by the Government of India, comes as a crowning glory

Sri P.S. Narayanaswami