Alleppey Venkatesan

Alleppey Venkatesan is one of the most respected vocalists in the circuit of South Indian Classical Music. His music is anchored in the deepest traditions of classicism, characteristic of the illustrious school to which he belongs, and yet has acquired for itself a distinct flavour of innovation and creativity, introduced with dexterity sufficient to retain that brand of classicism.

The hallmarks of his music are, fidelity to classicism, a sound voice culture based on full throated ease, primacy of gamakas, pride of place to the medium tempo and special skill in the rhythmic aspects.
His concerts are noted for their dignity, classicism, compositions of a variety of composers in different languages, set in different kaala pramanaas and expression of his own creativity in melodic and rhythmic improvisations.

Alleppey Venkatesan was a protégé of the Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, and his last disciple.

He began his musical odyssey at the age of 5. This was largely occasioned by the tradition of music his family was steeped in, which naturally meant that his everyday life, growing up, was filled with music-either its rendition or rumination. Home was fertile ground for his burgeoning musical ability, which was sufficiently proficient for him to give his first public concert at the age of 12. He received early lessons from Shri K.V.Ramachandra Bhagavathar and later, learnt from his father, Shri K. Parthasarathy.

Shri.Ariyakudi spotted Venkatesan’s promising talent & read his potential very early and groomed him in his style, instilling many of its nuances. It is clear today that he has imbibed and refined the voice culture and many other intricacies unique to his style. No wonder, then, that Venkatesan has been acknowledged both by eminent musicians and by rasikas as the one who gives the most vivid glimpses of the master’s style.

The other significant influence on his career after he permanently moved to Madras in 1969 was that of the greatest Mridangam maestro, Palghat Mani Iyer. During the years 1972 to 1981, Venkatesan had the privilege of close association with the mridangam wizard, who, apart from accompanying Venkatesan in many concerts on his own initiative, gave him several valuable insights including a deeper vision of “Laya”(Rhythm) as the bedrock of Carnatic music.

Over the years, Venkatesan has performed concerts and lecture demonstrations at all the important fora in India & abroad, in the company of the leading lights among accompanists.

He served as a Member of the Board of Studies in Music, Annamalai University for 3 years. Between 1996 & 2002 and again since 2005, Venkatesan has been the Honorary President of Sampradaya,a non-profit organization dedicated to the archival preservation, documentation and research in South Indian Music Traditions. Venkatesan is a Chartered Accountant practising in Chennai since 1977.He is also a Certified Information Systems Auditor.

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