Dr. Natesan Ramani, affectionately called 'Flute Ramani', was an eminent Carnatic flautist. Ramani is credited for introducing the long flute into Carnatic music. Along with his “Guru” Mali, Ramani made immense contribution to the Carnatic flute.
The Legendary flutist Ramani, developed his own inimitable style in the field of flute music, especially on Venu flute, and was one of the firsts to introduce Carnatic flute to the West. Ramani was honored with the Padmashri by the government for his contribution to music.
N Ramani was born on 15 October 1934 in Tiruvarur, Tamil Nadu into a family of flautists. Since his childhood Ramani showed keen interest in flute and his inclination towards music began at the age of five. He learnt music from Aazhiyur Narayanaswami Iyer, his grandfather and a well known flute artist and singer.
Ramani gave his first stage performance at the age of 8. Later Ramani became the disciple of eminent flautist and his maternal uncle T. R. Mahalingam or "Flute Mali". At the age of 11 Ramani accompanied his guru Mali in a concert for the first time and from then onwards there was no looking back of this greatest masters of flute.
The legendary N. Ramani is credited to have brought international attention to Carnatic flute. Ramani had a distinct flute playing techniques and also done great improvement on the methods of flute playing. Ramani was an avid learner and learnt the long bass flutes of the North Indian bansuri genius and incorporated it in Carnatic flute. To enhance tala dynamics, Ramani followed the "GNB" style, developed by the legendary G. N. Balasubramaniam. Ramani stressed importance on the vocal style of playing, and his slight tilting of head and varied movement of lips was an innovation to Carnatic flute.
Ramani performed his first concert on All India Radio in 1945 and in 1956 he performed at his first concert at the Madras Music Academy. Ramani had given stage performances throughout India and around the world, including the United States, France, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Sri Lanka and others. He performed in more than 30 concert tours outside of India. By performing in several concerts Ramani became popular and reached the highest point in his career. His concerts became a regular feature and he became an artist of international fame. His performances in All India Radio were received well and there were numerous praises from several renowned Carnatic and Hindustani musicians alike.
The renowned artist Ramani also performed "jugalbandhis" with legends like Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pandit Viswamohan, N Rajam, MS Gopalakrishnan. Along with being a talented flutist Ramani was also a selfless teacher. Ramani founded the "Ramani Academy of Flute" and trained as many as 50 disciples. According to Ramani teaching was the highest form of learning.
Ill Health and Death:
Towards the later part of his life Ramani suffered from throat cancer and did not appear in many programmes. He died on 9 October 2015 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.
Awards and Recognition:
Ramani received the most prestigious title/award in Carnatic music, Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 1996. The Indian Fine Arts Society, Chennai awarded him the Sangeetha Kalasikhamani award in 2007. He received the Sangeetha Acharya award from Wasser College, US. He was awarded the honorary citizenship status in Maryland, Ohio, US. The government of India honored him with the the Padma Shri. Ramani also holds an honorary Cultural Doctorate from The World University of Arizona.
(FAN OF Dr. NATESAN RAMANI)
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