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Dr. Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan – the end of an era

Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan

There is a void left behind in the music world. A void which no one can fill in the future. The demise of violin maestro Dr. Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan is a great loss to the whole world. He was a man who entertained all class of audiences. He was a person who had in store something for every person among the audience. He described himself as a departmental store, which is fully true.

I am a student of the great legend. I had been learning violin under his tutelage for the past 8 years. He brought out the talent in me. He transformed me into a violinist. He passed on his knowledge and technique to every student of his.

I still feel like packing my violin and going to his violin class. The classes will be very informal,  without any teacher-student divide.  He rarely used his violin to teach us. He would sing the lines and we were expected to follow, bringing out the exact tune on the violin. This helped us in developing our accompanying skills too. When most music schools claim that to be proficient enough in music to perform concerts, it would take at least ten years, my guru trained us to perform concerts in less than two years. He himself started accompanying great artistes almost one year after he started learning violin from his father.

He was never a serious-looking and reserved person. He had a great sense of humour and his own style of keeping everyone around happy and laughing. He was a very good orator too. His alliterations and word plays were enjoyable. His “one minute stories” require special mention. He often would tell us short stories during class which used to be humorous and they carried a strong message. we used to enjoy the time we spent with him. We used to be like a family.

His confidence in his students was much more than our own and that brought out the best in us. He never used to tell us what songs we must play for the concerts. So we have never been able to practice. Every decision would be on stage. He was always confident that we would perform well at all times. That confidence of his, together with his blessings, helped us perform well during concerts.

He had a very good memory. He used to remember dates as if he were a history encyclopedia. He also remembered almost everyone whom he met in his life. He was a very humble person, never had any pride. He respected everyone and was very devoted to music and God.

I have still not come to terms with his loss. Every human is mortal. But his music is immortal. His violin would continue to play brilliant music and speak directly to our hearts. There can never be a violinist like him. He would continue to remain in all our hearts in the form of music. He would bless us all. May his soul rest in peace.