D.K. Pattammal is no more
CHENNAI, July 16: We regret to announce the demise of noted Carnatic vocalist Damal Krishnaswamy Pattammal. She was 90. She had been ailing for sometime. Along with Madras Lalithangi Vasanthakumari (MLV) and M.S.Subbulakshmi, D.K.Pattammal formed `the female Trinity’ and ruled the Carnatic world for quite a long time. Musicologists and musicians alike appreciate MLV for her creativity and adventure, MS for her unique voice and bhakthi and Pattammal for her traditional and clear rendition of lyrics. Pattmmal had won several prestigious awards including Padma Bushan (1971), Padma Vibushan (1999) and Sangita Kalanidhi (1970). Giant Tiger Varadachari once described her as ``Gana Saraswati.''
Though a traditionalist, Pattamal never shied away from breaking new grounds. She was, perhaps, the first Brahmin woman to give public concerts. She was also indeed the first women to give RTP (ragam, tanam and pallavi) in concerts. And, she had even done playback singing for Tamil films such as Naam Iruvar and Thookku Thookki. Thyaga Bhoomi was her first film though. She was born to Krishnaswamy Dikshitar, a music lover, and Kanthimathi (Rajammal), a singer herself. Pattammal commenced her music career with her maiden public concert in 1932 at Madras Rasika Ranjani Sabha. Prior to that she had given a concert on Madras Corporation Radio (run by the Corporation of Madras before the birth All-India Radio). That was in 1929.
She had always considered her father to be her first guru. Naina Pillai was a major inspiration for Pattammal. Her brother Ranganathan and Rajaratnam Pillai, too, were inspirations for her. She had learnt music from several people. N.S. Krishnaswamy Iyengar, Vaidyanathan, Kanceeepuram P.B. Srinivasan, Ambi Dikshitar, T.L. Venkatrama Iyer, Papanasam Sivan, Appadurai Achari and Vidyala Narasimhalu Naidu were among her many gurus.
Carnatic music world has become poorer with the passing away of Pattammal. Carnatic vocal singer Nithyashree Mahadevan is Pattammal's grand-daughter.