Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu - Violinist Par Excellence (1893 - 1964)

Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu was among the top violinists of the twentieth century. He was partially blind and had played at the National Physical Laboratory in 1952 for the purpose of raising funds for the Blind Relief Association. The famous Kuchipidi dancer Dr.Shobha Naidu is related to him. She happens to be a Padma Shri awardee. Naidu was born on the Deepavali of 1893 (November 8) . He was brought up in Visakhapatnam and he had been appointed as Professor of Violin in Maharaja's Music College in Vijayanagaram at the age of 26. Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu was made the Principal of the institution in 1936.

The father and grandfather of this great violinist used to play the violin as a hobby. Dwaram gave his first solo performance in the year 1938 at Vellore (Madras Presidency). His soft bowing method was backed by his firm fingering technique. Dwaram was an extremely knowledgeable person and had written a number of articles on music. His article ' Peculiar characteristics of the tambura ' is recalled even today. Dwaram would request his students not to miss even a single day's practice. He used to state that if one missed a single day's practice, he or she would notice their own mistakes but if the practice was stopped for two, then the audience would notice them and point it out.

“Music was audible tapas” , stated Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu while talking to his disciples. India was blessed with a few amazing violinists during the first half of the twentieth century. They were Kumbakonam Rajamanickam Pillai, T.Chowdiah, Papa Rajamanickam Pillai and of course Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu. The above-mentioned were recipients of the prestigious Sangeetha Kalanidhi award. Ghantasala had learned music under Dwaram and the world famous violinist Yehudi Menuhin had been greatly impressed with the playing of Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu. Kalaimamani Radhanarayanan was also his student.

The Indian Fine Arts Society bestowed Dwaram with the Sangeetha Kalashikamani award in 1941 and he was the recipient of the Sangeet Natak Academy awards in fine arts during the year 1953. The Government of India conferred the Padma Shri on him in 1957 and the Postal Department honored him by releasing a commemorative stamp during his centenary year (1993). Sri Raja Lakshmi Foundation gave the Raja Lakshmi award to the Dwaram Venkataswamy Memorial Trust in 1992. Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu Trust was founded in Chennai and Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu Kalakshetram functions out of Visakhapatnam.

Statues of Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu were erected in Chennai and in Visakhapatnam. His daughter Mangatayaru was a well known violin player and her violin duets with her father can be accessed through the internet. The famous musicologist Dwaram Bhavanarayana Rao happens to be his son. His granddaughter and daughter of Dwaram Bhavanarayana Rao, Dwaram Lakshmi is a vocalist and has been putting in work as a Professor at the Padmavathi Mahila University.

Numerous recordings and concerts of Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu are available with us today. It can be accessed through the internet and enjoyed. Let us enjoy his renderings and it will be our best tribute to him.

Mr. Rajesh Govindarajulu is one of the founding members of The Verandah Club Pvt. Ltd. He is a leading columnist, historian, jeweler, entrepreneur, and a heritage enthusiast who is earnestly working to revive the past in the light of the present. Experiential learning about the history of Coimbatore is his main course of interest and he is also a panel member of many colleges in the city.