Alongside the banks of River Cauvery flowing in Tanjore and Trichy District of Tamilnadu, Classical Carnatic music also flowed and continues to flow in abundance. S.R.G. Sambandam and S.R.G Rajanna are more known as “Sembanarkovil Brothers”. Both of them are leading and outstanding Nadaswara Vidwans who learnt to play this very difficult instrument with ease even when they were little boys. They hail from the culture of the traditional Sembanarkovil Parampara, which has established itself a special place in the world of “Mangala Isai”.

They were born on 18.04.1921 and 14.03.1932 respectively in Mayiladuthurai of Tanjore District. The breeding pond of their musical excellence is their own family. Their father, Sembanarkovil Sri S.R. Govindaswamy Pillai was a renowned Nadaswara Vidwan, whereas their mother, Srimathi Thangathammal belongs to the Pandanallur musical family. Their maternal grandfather, Pandanallur Sri Guruswamy Pillai is an ‘Ashtavadhanam’. ‘Ashtavadhanam’ is a person with a unique capability to do eight different musical activities simultaneously. He having noticed their immense musical talent taught them carnatic vocal as well as Nadaswaram since their childhood days. In their later days they mastered their art through the Gurukulam training format under the wings of their father Sri. S.R. Govindaswamy Pillai.

The specialty of their training which they obtained from their maternal grandfather and subsequently from their father, who both were all-great Nadaswaram Vidwans, was to simultaneously learn vocal music alongside Nadaswaram. This enabled the “Sembanarkovil Brothers” to create an impression in the mind of their listeners whether they were listening to Nadaswaram or vocal music when the brothers played the instrument. It is worthy to note that the Sembanarkovil family has been instrumental in preserving and propagating this ancient art for over 150 years. They have been rendering Nadaswara recitals for over 75 years.

They have served as Aasthana Vidwans at Dharmapuram, Thiruvaduthurai and Thirupanandhal Aadheenams and Kaancheepuram Sankara Mutt also at Arulmigu Abhyambal Samaaedha Mayuranaatha Swami Temple, Mayiladuthurai for about 30 years. They have also given performances at Ramanathaswamy temple, Rameshwaram and Ramanathapuram Palace. They have performed in Bhramhotsavams and Mahakumbabhishekam of many temples and reputed sabhas in various parts of the country and abroad.

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