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Voice of the Veena : S Balachander (Outside India)
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Voice of the Veena : S Balachander (Outside India)
Vikram Sampath V
Code Book-8
Rupa Publications

Voice of the Veena : S Balachander
by Vikram Sampath


Vikram Sampath was born in Bangalore and completed his Engineering in Electronics and Masters in Mathematics from BITS-Pilani in 2003. He subsequently did an M.B.A. in finance from S P Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai. He currently works in the retail banking division of a leading multinational bank in Bangalore.


S Balachander was one of the brightest stars in the galaxy of Carnatic music from the 1930s through the 1980s. The veena maestro began his music career at a time when stalwart vocalists ruled the roost and the role of instrumentalists was secondary. Balachander was an independent-minded and self-taught genius, and he carved a unique niche for himself as a veena soloist. He boldly changed the grammar of instrumental music, contemporized the veena and created a legacy known as the Balachander bani, or style. But Balachander’s iconoclastic and brash ways didn’t go down too well with the Carnatic music fraternity. He was quick to pick quarrels with established fellow musicians in his lifelong quest for perfection and truth. The book attempts to recreate the towering personality that he was - a lot of this researched from his elaborate personal diaries. While his death in 1990 created a void in the Carnatic realm, the issues he fought for remain relevant till date, and his memory lives on in the minds of music connoisseurs. As the maestro himself would have smugly said: ‘Veena is Balachander, Balachander is Veena.’

Number of pages: 504

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