Mysore Vasudevacharya - (May 28, 1865 – May 17, 1961) was a renowned musician and composer of Carnatic music compositions who belonged to the direct line of Thyagaraja's disciples.
Vasudevacharya was born in an orthodox Madhva Brahmin family in Mysore and started learning music from Veena Padmanabhiah, the chief musician of the Mysore court. He also mastered Sanskrit and allied fields such as Kavya, Vyakarana, Nataka, Alankaram, Tarka, Itihasa, Purana having studied at the Maharaja Sanskrit college in Mysore while learning music privately. He then went on to learn from the famous composer-musician Patnam Subramania Iyer supported by the Maharaja's generous stipend and imbibed the music of not only his Guru but also other great maestros of the Thanjavur-Cauvery delta. Vasudevacharya eventually became the chief court musician(Asthana Vidwan) at the Mysore court. He was known for his madhyama-kala tanam singing which he learnt from his Guru. Patnam Subramania Iyer often requested his sishya "Vasu" to help him with the sahitya aspects of his compositions. This aspect of his training undoubtedly helped Vasudevacharya as a composer.
Vasudevacharya's compositions (numbering over 200) were mostly in Telugu and Sanskrit. Some of his most popular kritis include Brochevarevarura in Kamas raga, Devadideva in Sunadavinodini, Mamavatu Sri Saraswati in Hindolam, Bhajare Re Manasa in Abheri and Ra Ra Rajeevalochana Rama in Mohanam. He published a large number of his compositions in the book Vasudeva Kirtana Manjari. His compositions in Telugu have such sweetness and lilt, and beautifully blend with the tune of the raga as do the Sanskrit compositions, which are mellifluous. His songs reflect his mastery of Sanskrit and show his erudition and scholarship in Sanskrit literature. He considered his insight into Telugu as a gift from Thyagaraja (Thyagaraja's bhiksha). Unlike the Dasa kuta songs, his compositions don't have any Dvaita undertones but many have the words "Paramapurusha Vasudeva" or "Vasudeva" which means the supreme Vasudeva/Lord Vishnu which incidentally is also his mudra or signature. True to his Vaishnava heritage and the Thyagaraja shishya parampara to which he belonged, most of his compositions are in praise of Lord Rama. In addition to Kritis and Keertanas, he also composed Varnams, Thillanas, Javalis and slokas. His admiration for the trinity of Carnatic music specially Thyagaraja resulted in Srimadadi Thyagaraja Guruvaram in Kalyani, Shri Ramachandra (a ragamalika) and two other ragamalikas in praise of Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Sastri.
He is also credited with two writings in Kannada, one of them an autobiography called Nenapugalu (memories) and Na Kanda Kalavidaru (the musicians I have met) in which he wrote the biographies of many well known musicians.
Mysore Vasudevachar also taught in Rukmini Devi's Kalakshetra, (founded in 1936). He was already quite old by then, but thanks to Rukmini Devi he agreed to shift to Kalakshetra. He became the chief musician in Kalakshetra and helped in setting the Ramayana to music. He died in 1961 at the age of 96.