Oottukkadu Venkata Kavi

Oottukkadu Venkata Kavi

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Category: Music

Oottukkadu Venkata Kavi Profile

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Oottukkadu Venkata Kavi Biography

Oottukkadu Venkata Kavi was a pioneer Carnatic musician and composer who lived in the 18th century. His compositions belong to Tamil, Marathi and Sanskrit languages and now only 500 compositions available. He belonged to Tamil Nadu and lived during the period 1700 to 1765. He is also known by the name Oothukkadu Venkatasubba Iyer and his compositions were passed over from one generation to the next through his descendants. He has been a pioneer of kriti, tillana and kavadichindu forms of music. Venkata Kavi was a master of finishes and noted for his ending of his songs with rhythmic patterns. He was a composer of time-transcending brilliance and encyclopedic erudition and is noticed for his melodic contributions to East. His contributions are often compared with his contemporaries like Mozart and Johann Sebastian Bach of West.


He was born to a Tamil couple as the eldest of 5 children. Oottukkadu is the place where the family later moved to. He was passionate about music since early childhood and didn’t have any guru. As per legends he was initiated to music by none other than Lord Krishna. As per other sources Bhaskara Raya was his guru. His compositions are filled with devotions to Lord and many of his compositions are devoted to Lord Krishna, whom he regards as his guru. He has also composed an opera narrating Krishna’s birth and childhood.


He had a vast knowledge over different ragas and composed over hundreds of compositions and later passed over by the descendants of his brother's family. Many of his compositions were autobiographical as well. His compositions are still loved by millions of music lovers.

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Updated: August 20, 2014


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