M.S Viswanathan

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Name M.S.Viswanathan
Birth name Manayangath Subramanian Viswanathan
Pet Name MSV
Date of Birth 24th June 1928
Birth Place Ilappulli village, Kerala, India
Native Kerala
Nationality Indian
Profession Music Director, Actor, Singer, Composer
Family Father – Subramanian
Mother – Narayani Kutti (a) Naanikutti
(Maternal) Grandfather – Krishnan Nair
Titles * “Mellisai Mannar” title awarded by media along with T.K. Ramamoorthy, meaning “King of Light Music” or “King of melodies”.

* “Sangeetha Saraswathi” title awarded by Poojya Sri Guruji Viswanath of Manava Seva Kendra, Chennai (2008).

* “University of Music” title awarded by People and Media.

* “Isai Peraringnar” title awarded by Isai Sangam, meaning “Great Scholar in Music” (2004).

Instruments he plays Keyboard, Harmonium, Piano
Music Guru Neelakanda Bhagavathar
First stage performance In Trivandrum at the age of 13
Debut movie Panam (1952)
Noticeable concert At Kuwait which drew an audience of about 10,000
Places he visited for concerts Russia, Paris, London, Canada, Denmark, New Delhi, Bombay, Europe, USA, Canada, South East Asia and the Middle East
Achievements Bringing out new trends in melodies, tunes and introducing orchestra to Indian cinema.
About Music “Sarigamapadani is my language.”
Philosophy “My philosophy is that what is good for me will be good for the listener. It is wrong to provide what the audience asks for. It may even be poison.”
Recipes of his compositions Good meter, matter and melody
Credentials * He was the first person in the state ( arguably in the country) to introduce orchestra on to stage. * He is the Composer for the Tamil Thaai Vaazhthu, the Official Anthem of the State Government of Tamil Nadu.

* He is the only music director from South India, whose compositions have been included in the musical subject of world renowned Harward University, USA.

* He is the co-founder of IPRS (Indian Performing Rights Society) along with Naushad Ali, M.B.Sreenivasan, Kannadasan whose objective is to ensure royalty for the musicians and performers.

* He is the only music director in India who has sung for other music directors like V. Kumar, Shankar Ganesh, Ilaiyaraaja, AR Rahman, Gangai Amaran & Deva.

* He is the only music director who has sung more than 500 individual songs (Film & non-film songs).

* Only music director in India who has done the record breaking performance in the music industry for more than 5 decades.

* He is the only composer in India who performs on stage at the age of 78

* He is the only music director to score more than 50 non-film albums.

Awards * Seventh ‘Kamukura’ Award by Kerala Cultural Ministry.
* ‘Kalaimamani’ – A jewel for art by State Government of Tamil Nadu.
* ‘Life Time Achievement’ Award by Sangam Kala group (2004).
* ‘Gold Remi’ Award for the best music score of movie ‘Vishwa Thulasi’ (2005).
* ‘Madhavapeddi Satyam’ Award by Siva Foundation (2005).
* Doctorate awarded by Sathyabama University (2006).
* ‘Paramacharya’ Award, meaning ‘The Ultimate Guru’ (2006).
Facts * As he was born at “Manayangath House” he got it in his name. * His parents did not have any musical background.

* His father died of illness when he was 4.

* His mother was about to commit suicide along with him because of poverty.His grandfather saved his mother.

* He used to sell foodstuff in a movie theater during his childhood.

* At the age of 15 he acted in a play on Harishchandra.

* He was offered to play junior Kovalan in the film ‘Kannagi’, but later it was cancelled.

* He was a chorus singer.

* He was dominating film music composing in the South Indian film industry during 1960 – 1970.

* He has composed for more than 1750 films.

* He has composed music for albums and political campaigns.

* He has done music for Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam movies.

* He has acted in many Movies, appeared in programs on Indian Television (Doordarshan), other commercial TV channels, Tele Serials.

* He writes in a unique way holding the pen in between the index and the middle finger.

* He has been performing at a temple on the outskirts of Chennai for the last 29 years without a break during the Saraswathi Pooja celebrations.

* Every day he spends one and half an hour in prayer.

* In 1996, Don Bosco school at Broadway, Chennai gifted him a harmonium and it is his favorite.

* His biography “Mellisai Mannar MSV” written by Ramanimaindhan was released in 2003 and the famous playback singer Naushad ali attended the function.

* A Santoor player, Visweswaran is with MSV for more than 2 decades. Visweswaran considers MSV as his “Maanaseeka Guru”.

* Visweswaran’s interesting titles to MSV: 1) “Santhome Mahaan” 2) “Swayamboo” 3) “Avataara Purushar”

* Gemini Ganesan loved to call MSV as “Mamanaar” (father-in-law).

* On his biography book release function Ilaiyaraaja laid all his achievements at MSV’s feet.

* He considers Kannadasan, Vaali as his two eyes and MGR, Sivaji also as his two eyes.

* MGR, Annadurai and Karunanidhi were big fans of MSV.

* He & his duo Ramamurthy were very good friends and they worked together as music directors for a long time.

* In his ‘Engae nimmadhi’ song which was sung by T.M.Soundararajan, 125 orchestra members worked from 9 AM – 2 PM.

Secret of his energy “I don’t think I am getting old. I feel like a 22-year old man. Even today, I can work for 18 hours a day.”
His advice for the younger generation “Go for the new one that does not lose track of the old.”
His famous Quotes “Irakkum Manithargal; Iravaa Paadalgal;”

“Melody’il Oru Thuli Sogam Irukkum;”

“‘Illai’ Endra Naal Illai; ‘Innum’ Endra Aasai Illai;”

“Oru Kalaignanukku Sangeethamum Mukkiyam; Ingeethamum Mukkiyam;”

“Sangeetham Ennum Saagarathil Naan Oru Siru Thuli;”

“Janathipathi Award Vendam; Jananga Award Pothum;”

“Paattil Meter’um Venum; Matter’um Venum;”

“Mettukku Paattu; Paattukku Mettu”

“En Vetrikku Karanam Enakku Amaintha Koottani”

About him A.R.Rahman: (Music Director) “There is no Tamil Film composer without MSV’s influence. There is not one composer in the Tamil film industry today, who has not been influenced or inspired by the music of the ‘Mellisai Mannargal'”.

Sathyaraj: (Actor)

“When it comes to music, its MSV for me! I’m a great fan of the “King of Melodies”, M.S.Viswanathan and I’m proud to say so.”

Kamal Hassan: (Actor)

“MSV revived film music! Right from my childhood, MSV’s melody has filled my ears and breath; Unlike Bharathiyar and Bharathidasan, three people whom I like, have got their due credits for their talents during their life-time itself. They are “Nadigar Thilagam” Sivaji Ganesan, “Mellisai Mannar” MSV and “Isai Gnani” Illayaraja; MSV revived film music through new trends in melody and tune. Its mystery that MSV still lives as a child at heart. He is a great legend in music!”

Cho.Ramaswamy: (Journalist)

“MSV’s friendship is a pride for me! MSV is a child; But when it comes to Music this child will become a Giant; Let his unmatchable service to Music as a Musical Legend, continue forever, by God’s grace! His numbers like Carnatic music, uplifted the human spirit.”

Maestro Illayaraja: (Music Director)

“MSV has the capability to judge the talent of a musician just by looking at that person. The only reason for this is the blessings of Goddess Saraswathi, is fully showered on him. Wow! In how many songs has he melted my heart; Made me lose myself; Each song of his is a Gem, a Diamond, a Ruby; What can I give back to this man for filling my ears and heart with his music. Whatever I try to give him as a fee, it will be short of what he deserves. I stand like a poor left with nothing to give to Annan MSV, what he deserves; I can do one thing; If there is any that I have gained or earned so for through my music, I place the fruit and fame under MSV’s feet and respect him; This is the only fair thing I can give him!”

Vaali: (lyricist)

“MSV laid a foundation which is the reason for my successful career as a lyricist, till today; I’ve never forgotten this nor hidden this; If MSV discovers that a poet has a ‘fire’ within him, he will go out of his way to recommend the lyricist to others in the industry; On Jan 1, 1963 I did not have money for food; I then joined MSV; On 31st of the same month, I did not have time to have food! MSV’s music has proved its values as it has not gone out of fashion since it first appeared.”

Naushad Ali: (Composer)

“All his tunes have life in them. MSV has given me the status of “Guru”, owing to his open-heartedness. This shows his great character. But the fact is I only learnt a lot from him. His tunes bestowed enthusiasm in me”. Naushad was surprised by the speed of MSV’s re-recordings. After seeing his recording, “For this piece, I would have taken 3 full days. How come you are able to produce music with such a speed and quality?!”

Kannadasan: (Lyricist)

“The best way to kill MSV is to give him poison while he is composing music. He will just drink it.”

K.Balachander: (Director)

“It’s a measure of the man’s character that now more than anything else he wants a chance to prove (once again) how good he is at stringing tunes.”

Official Website http://www.msvtimes.com

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Nithyasree Mahadevan

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