It is my pleasure and honour to write about Sri S. V. Krishnamurthy (SVK) who is an erudite scholar, an ardent bhaktha of St. Thyagaraja and an art critic of exceptional merit and integrity. While one tends to focus on his contributions as a music critic for the much respected English daily “The Hindu,” all will readily acknowledge that his Writings bear witness to his vast Knowledge of not only Indian classical arts but also literature, and his unparalleled command over the English language. He is a man of highest integrity and could never be swayed by personal relationships or blandishments-in kind or otherwise.
His writing always have balance and never malice. Absolutely incorruptible, he is objective in pointing out areas of improvement while also lavishing praise on accomplishments. His keen alalytical mind, vast musical scholarship, his intellectual, emotional and spiritual approach to Saint Thyagarja, and a razor sharp memory could always be counted on to bring out often overlooked contours of the performance with apt comparisons to yester year music which few had heard and fewer understood.
The preambles in his writings are a storehouse of nuanced musical expositions that set forth thoughts sparked by the concert he was reviewing. It could be exultation in finding a rare gem or an anguished cry on unfulfilled expectations. They all have genuineness of feelings expressing hopes for a bright talent or bright talent or despair over what passes for classicism. His taste in arts brooks no compromise-disdains market/gallery oriented theatrics and reveres impeccable execution based on solid scholarship.
All these are nothing compared to his deep love and adoration of the compositions of Saint Thyagaraja and the links they have to Valmiki Ramayanam. For SVK, the Thygaraja kritis are as important as the slokas of Ramayana and the parallels betwoon them are simply awe inspiring. His bhakthi margam in no small measure includes his diligent study of the Saint’s compositions and the Rama Katha he finds embedded in them. For him, it is a never ending spiritual journey.
Again, it is an honour for me to set forth my unabashed admiration for a rare gem called SVK,
Desire and fulfilment
The purpose of Ramavataram
Rama’s charm and valour
Born for kainkarya
On human depravity
Thyagaraja’s bhakti marga
Anguish and hop
Vision of Rama
Sri Rama pada seva
Thyagaraja lives in his aradhanas
Brahma Sutras (81)
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