Musuri Subramania Iyer was born on April 9,1899 to Sankara Satry and Seethalakshmi in Bommalapalayam. He was one of three siblings. He lost his mother when he was a baby and his only sister also died young. He was married at 14 to Nagalakshmi.


*******************************
By the time he was 17 he became adept in English language and read literary classics like "Pickwick Papers". He became a good speaker and writer in English, He was greatly influenced by the popular stage actor S.G.Kittappa noted for his singing and desired to become a musician like him. Musiri began learning music from S.Narayanaswamy Iyer who wasa Government Officer and Magistrate. Musiri shifted to Madras and started learning under Sabesha Iyer.


**************************************
There are two versions how he acquired the prefix Musiri. When he was Chinnaswamaiah's disciple he sang at Musiri town and the billboards announced him as Musiri Subramania Iyer. According to Semmangudi it was at his first concert in Madras he was billed as Musiri. Of course Musiri was a better name than Bommalapalayam Subramania Iyer!


************************************
Musiri became a well known name within ten years of arrival in Madras and he became a successful concert-player. One of his friends was C.Ramanujachari who took him on tours for raising funds for Ramakrishna Mission. Musiri went on tour to Malaya, Singapore and Ceylon. These journeys cemented Musiri's friendship with Tanjore Vaidyanatha Iyer, a famous mridangist. In his career, the popularity of Musiri and his name reached every corner of India. His 78 rpm gramophone records were successful to the point that the audience would sometimes demand he sing songs in the exact way as heard on the record.


**************************
Musiri's popularity led him to the world of film. The film was Tukaram with thirty songs composed by Papanasam Sivan. The film's cast included the comedian Sarangapani, There were some embarrassing problems. Tukaram had a moustache and the clean-shaven Musiri had a false moustache, attached with spirit gum to his face. The gum when dry, pulled at his skin and gave him allergy. Shooting the film was called off till he grew a moustache. The film was advertised him as Musiri Tukaram. Kalki praised the film and Musiri's songs. The exertions he underwent during the making of the film is thought to have resulted in lifelong lung trouble for Musiri Subramania Iyer, forcing his early retirement from live performance in 1945 at 46 years of age.


***********************************
Musuri was active in the affairs of the Tyagaraja Brahma Mahotsava Sabha as Secretary during 1941-1948 and from 1949.He was instrumental in ensuring the celebrations of Tyagaraja's Birth Bi-centenary and the Saint's Death Centenary. Musiri, along with Ariyakudi and Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer introduced the choral singing of pancharatnams and its coverage by AIR.
************************************
The Music Academy and Musuri were associated since 1927 when Musuri sang at the first session. In the citation on the selection as President of the Academy it was mentioned that T.Sabesha Iyer was the Guru of Musiri—unusual indeed referring to the disciple when recounting the guru's career. In 1939 Musiri was invited to become the President. When the Sangita Kalanidhi was instituted in 1942 Musiri was given the title. He was the youngest musician to get this honour.


*****************************
Musuri was made Asthana Vidwan of the Travancore Court in 1940.In 1949 he was appointed as Principal of the Central College of Karnatak Music. He put together a faculty of distinguished musicians including the legendary Prof. Sambamoorthy.


**************************
He had a passion for horse-racing. He was a dabbler in the stock exchange and worked as a member of the Censor Board. Among his students were C.V.Narasimhan and Bombay Sisters. Among his awards are Sangeet Natak Akademi. Isai Perarignar, Sangita Kala Shikhamani and the Padma Bhushan.
***********************************
Musiri Subramania Iyer was also known for his sense of humor. A single anecdote, which he himself was fond of repeating, would suffice. Once Musiri Subramania Iyer and several other vidwans had assembled at a village for a wedding. While playing cards in the afternoon, Musiri Subramania Iyer felt thirsty and woke up his host's cook and asked for some warm water. The old woman, annoyed at having been disturbed in her siesta, muttered loud enough for him to hear "Does he think he is M. S. Subbulakshmi? Why does he need warm water?"

Dear you, Thanks for Visiting Brahmins Net!
JaiHind! Feel free to post whatever you think useful, legal or humer! Click here to Invite Friends




He died on March 24, 1975 after an illness.