P. V. Subramanium - Subbudu

Born in Rangoon, Burma, in 1917, Shri P. V. Subramaniam was initiated into Carnatic music by Shri R. Krishnamoorthy Iyer. His precocious talent in music in childhood was to express itself in his lifelong work as a scholarly critic of music and dance, in which sphere he is better known as Subbudu. Subbudu’s fame as a critic was founded on his column in the Tamil periodical Kalki published from Madras. Next to Kalki, Subbudu is best known for his column in the English daily The Statesman, where he wrote on Carnatic music and dance for more than fifty years. His writing, knowledgeable and frank, has won for Subbudu an authority in the field unequalled by his peers. Two volumes of his collected writings in Tamil have been published under the title Isaithukkada , while a second collection of assorted pieces is titled Subbudu Darbar. He has also published a basic handbook of Bharatanatyam. Outside of the print media, he has produced twelve docu- mentary films for Doordarshan on masters of Carnatic music, as well as a documentary presenting the Pancharatna Kritis of Tyagaraja. Subbudu has composed music himself, and is also an expert harmonium-player. In the eighty- seventh year of his life, he remains involved with the South India Theatre, an amateur company whose plays he has directed and staged in several cities. For his work in the field of theatre, Subbudu has been honoured by the Tamil Nadu Eyal Isai Nataka Manram with its title Kalaimamani. Several organizations in Tamil Nadu have bestowed titles on him for his work as a scholar and writer. A two-part television feature holding Subbudu in focus has been recently shown on Doordarshan in its series ‘Great Masters’. Shri P.V. Subramaniam ‘Subbudu’ receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his scholarship and his overall con- tribution in the performing arts.