Shri. Ramnad Krishnan was born on 14th September 1918 at Alleppey in Kerala in a family of musicians, all the six brothers being accomplished artistes. Ramnad Krishnan had his school education at Ramnad in Tamilnadu where he learnt music from late vidwan Shri. Ramnad Sankara Sivam (elder brother of late mridanga vidwan Ramnad shri. C S Murugaboopathy).
Later he migrated to madras and took up music as profession. He was a faithful listener of all kinds of music . This with his natural bent of analytical mind, later made him create his own style of musical expression - bani . It so happened that he was introduced to the family members of Veena Dhannammal which changed his very approach to music. He came to the firm conclusion that in our music it is sankya or relaxed music, that only matters and he stuck to his principle till the last.
It is not an exaggeration that ramnad krishnan was an all rounder musician. He had a very extensive repertoire of compositions specially of Patnam Subramanya Iyer, which he had acquired from Smt. T. Brinda and Smt. T. Mukhta, grand daughters of Veena Dhannammal. Shri. N S Krishnaswamy Iyengar, disciple of Kanchipuram Naina Pillai and many other reputed musicians. His raga singing gave a revelation of the emotional and the intellectual content of the raga . His unique pallavi rendetions in rare and uncommon structures, still haunt the minds of not only the rasikas but even his colleagues. His neraval rendering simulated the great Mazhavarayandal Subbarama Iyer. He could also render any padam or javali with grace and charm. He excelled in delianeating exquisite rakti raga like varali, suruti, sahana, devagandhari, begada, kapi, hamsanadham, bahudhari, saranga etc with bhava in the ragamalika rendering. In total he was a great integrater of the best aspects of Carnatic music.
He had high regards for contemporary performers as Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Madurai Mani Iyer and G. N. Balasubramaniam.
He had many disciples like Ritha Rajan, Nagamani Srinath, Vegavahini Vijayaraghavan, Neyyathankara vasudevan, Nirmala Sundararajan, Janaki Sunderarajan, Usha Sagar, Natarajan, Vaidyanathan and Raghava Rao. As a teacher he was conscientious and sincere in his approach.
Shri. Krishnan also served at the faculty of the Govt. College of Carnatic Music at madras for a few years. He was also a visiting Professor at the Weslyn University, USA for some time where he was reverentially called "the musicians’ musician".
He used to observe Papanasam Sivan as living Thyagaraja and held him at high esteem as a composer and a musician. Shri Sivan reciprocated this sentiment and love for Krishan by calling off his concert abruptly on hearing the sad demise of Krishnan.
The music world lost the voice of Shri. Krishnan on 29.1.73.
Courtesy: Janaki Sundararajan
Chennai - 600 014
for his rederings: