'Odhuvar' exponent Swaminathan no more

'Odhuvar' exponent Swaminathan no more

Swaminathan, who devoted his entire life for rendition of ‘Thevaram’ and other Tamil devotional hymns, took ‘Thirumurai rendering’, the core of traditional Tamil music, to new heights, music experts here said while paying rich tributes to him.

Born on May 29, 1923, at Nannilam in the erstwhile composite Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu to Panchanda Mudaliar and Parvathy Ammal, Dharmapuram Swaminathan learnt
‘Thevaram’ and other devotional compositions in the Tamil Saiva Siddanthic tradition since he joined the Dharmapuram Mutt at a tender age of 12, initially under Thirumurai Kalanidhi R Velayudha Odhuvar for five years.

He later underwent musical training at the Annamalai University under the guidance of the great singer Chittoor Subramanya Pillai.

Spirit of Thevaram

Dharmapuram Swaminathan  acquired the ‘Sangeetha Bhushanam’ degree from that university.  In a musical career spanning over six decades, Swaminathan, both as a teacher and singer did his utmost to propogate the spirit of Thevaram music — a collection of devotional hymns sung by Saivaite saints of yore.

Several awards and distinctions came his way, including the Tamil Nadu Government’s Kalaimamani Award and the TTK Award for excellence in traditional music instituted by the Music Academy in Chennai in 2002. He was also an artiste with the All India Radio for several years and has to his credit 12 discs and hundreds of audio-cassettes.