Parassala B. Ponnammal
Parassala B. Ponnammal.jpg
Background information
Born(1924-11-29)29 November 1924
Parassala, Travancore, British India
Died22 June 2021(2021-06-22) (aged 96)
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
GenresIndian classical music
Occupation(s)Classical vocalist
Parassala Ponnammal sings at the Doordarshan National Programme of Music in 2009. Avaneeswaram Vinu (violin), Erickavu N. Sunil (mridangam), Trikkakkara Y. N. Santharam (kanjira)
Parassala Ponnammal sings at the Doordarshan National Programme of Music in 2009. Avaneeswaram Vinu (violin), Erickavu N. Sunil (mridangam), Trikkakkara Y. N. Santharam (kanjira)

Parassala B. Ponnammal (29 November 1924 – 22 June 2021) was an Indian Carnatic musician from the south Indian state of Kerala. She was a classical carnatic vocalist in the lineage of Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Muthiah Bhagavathar, and Papanasam Sivan. She was the first woman to perform at the Navaratri Mandapam in Thiruvananthapuram as a part of the Navaratri Celebrations of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala.

Ponnammal was a recipient of the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honor, in 2017. She was also a recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi Award and the Kerala state government's Swathi Sangeetha Puraskaram.

Early life

Ponnammal was born on 29 November 1924 in Parassala, in the present-day Thiruvananthapuram district in the south Indian state of Kerala, to R. Mahadeva Iyer and A. Bhagavathy Ammal in a Kerala Iyer family.[1] She started her studies in carnatic music as a child; during the early 1940s, she was the first female student to enroll in the newly started Swathi Thirunal College of Music in Thiruvananthapuram, which was then known as Sree Swathi Thirunal Music Academy. She graduated from the academy with a first rank in "Gana Bhushanam" and "Gana Praveena" courses.[1]

She learned from several notable figures in carnatic music, including Papanasam Sivan, Harikesanallur Muthiah Bhagavatar and Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer.[2]

Career

Ponnammal started her career as a music teacher by joining the Cotton Hill Girls High School in Thiruvananthapuram. She later became the first female member of the teaching faculty at the Swathi Thirunal College of Music in Thiruvananthapuram.[3] She was the first woman principal to head the RLV College of Music and Fine Arts at Tripunithura.[4] As a teacher, some of her disciples included Kumara Kerala Varma, Neyyattinkara Vasudevan, K. Omanakutty, A. K. Raveendranath, Nedumangad Sasidharan, M.G. Radhakrishnan, Palkulangara Ambika Devi, G. Seethalakshmi, S Mahadevan, Amruta Venkatesh.[5] Renowned Carnatic vocalist Mangad K. Natesan, his daughter Prof. (Dr.)Mini N and her husband Dr. Sajith E. N. and their daughter Dr. Mythili E. S. have also learned from her.[1]

Ponnammal was a carnatic musician in the lineage of Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Muthiah Bhagavathar, and Papanasam Sivan. Some of her performances included the Guruvayur Puresa Suprabhatham,[6] Trisivapuresa Suprabhatham, Ulsava Prabhandam, Navarathri Kriti, Meenambika Sthothram, in addition to compositions of Irayamman Thampi and K. C. Kesava Pillai.[7][1]

She became the first woman to perform at the Navaratri celebrations of the Sri Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala when she performed at the Navarathri Mandapam in 1996. In doing so, she broke a centuries-old restriction that forbade women from performing at the temple.[8] She went on to perform there for the next ten years. She continued to perform across India and abroad through her 80s.[9][1][10]

Ponnammal was a recipient of the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honor in 2017. She also received the Kerala State Government's Swathi Sangeetha Puraskaram, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2009, and the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi Award.[1]

Personal life

Ponnammal was married to R. Devanayagam Iyer, who pre-deceased her. The couple had three sons - D. Mahadevan, D. Subramanian, D Ramaswamy - and a daughter, D Kamala. Her children Ramaswamy and Kamala pre-deceased her.[11][12] She died on 22 June 2021, at her home in Valiyassala, Thiruvananthapuram, aged 96.[13][14]

Recognition

The President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presenting the Padma Shri Award to Smt. Parassala B. Ponnammal, at the Civil Investiture Ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on April 13, 2017
The President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presenting the Padma Shri Award to Smt. Parassala B. Ponnammal, at the Civil Investiture Ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on April 13, 2017

Her awards include:

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Roshni, R. K. (22 June 2021). "Parassala B. Ponnammal passes away". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Archived from the original on 22 June 2021. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  2. ^ "Grace Notes From Travancore". outlookindia.com/. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  3. ^ Varma, Aswathi Thirunal Rama. "A rare gem of a musician". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 14 February 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  4. ^ Ranee Kumar. "A doyen in her own right". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 26 March 2020. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  5. ^ "Parassala Ponnammal". 31 July 2021.
  6. ^ "Parassala Ponnammal | S Mahadevan". S Mahadevan. 6 June 2017. Archived from the original on 16 January 2018. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Ms. Parassala Ponnammal | Kerala Tourism". www.keralatourism.org. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  8. ^ "Doyen of Carnatic music Parassala B Ponnammal dies at 96 in Kerala". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 22 June 2021. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  9. ^ "പൊന്നമ്മാളിന്റെ സംഗീത യാത്രയ്ക്ക് പത്മശീയുടെ തിളക്കം". Mathrubhumi. Archived from the original on 12 June 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  10. ^ Krishnaraj.S. "CARNATIC MUSIC :: Prince Rama Varma : A legend in the Making". www.carnaticindia.com. Archived from the original on 25 April 2016. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Doyen of Carnatic music Parassala B Ponnammal dies at 96 in Kerala".
  12. ^ Roshni, R. K. (22 June 2021). "Parassala B. Ponnammal passes away". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 23 June 2021. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  13. ^ "വിഖ്യാത കർണാടക സംഗീതജ്ഞ പാറശ്ശാല ബി. പൊന്നമ്മാൾ അന്തരിച്ചു" [Carnatic musician Parassala B Ponnammal passed away]. Malayala Manorama (in Malayalam). 22 June 2021. Archived from the original on 22 June 2021. Retrieved 24 June 2021.
  14. ^ "Carnatic music legend passes away | Thiruvananthapuram News - Times of India". The Times of India. TNN. 23 June 2021. Archived from the original on 23 June 2021. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  15. ^ "Padma Awards". padmaawards.gov.in. Archived from the original on 29 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  16. ^ "Minister A K Balan Presenting M G Radhakrishnan Award To Musician Parassala B Ponnammal". World News. Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  17. ^ "Honour for Parassala Ponnammal". article.wn.com. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  18. ^ "Honour for Parassala Ponnammal - Times of India". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 26 February 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017.
  19. ^ "Award for Ponnammal". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 26 March 2020. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  20. ^ "Awards for Vasudevan Potti, Parassala Ponnammal". The New Indian Express. Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  21. ^ "Sangeet Natak Academy awards 2009". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 26 March 2020. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  22. ^ "Swati Puraskaram announced". article.wn.com. Archived from the original on 21 May 2018. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  23. ^ Adroit. "Sree Guruvayurappan Chembai Puraskaram for vocalist Parassala Ponnammal - Carnatic Music News - Darbar for claissical music / claissical dance". www.carnaticdarbar.com. Archived from the original on 10 September 2016. Retrieved 13 June 2017.