Tirur Nambissan

Tirur Nambissan

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Category: Art

Tirur Nambissan Profile

  • Name:
  • Tirur Nambissan
  • Died:
  • August 10, 1994
  • Born / Home Town:
  • Tirur

Tirur Nambissan Biography

Tirur Nambissan was a noted Kathakali singer from Tirur of Malappuram district, Kerala. He started learning music at the age of seven he got privilege to sing for doyens of Kathakali for their performances. He was a contemporary of Madambi Subrahmanyan Namboothiri, Kalamandalam Hyderali and Kalamandalam Sankaran Embranthiri. He learnt music from Kerala Kalamandalam under the guidance of Kalamandalam Neelakantan Nambisan. Later he taught numerous students in different educational institutions across the country.


He was born in Tirur of Malappuram district into a traditional Hindu family who performed Kathakali for many generations. Nambissan faced huge tragedies in his life very young. He lost both his parents and siblings by a very young age of 15, within a short interval. His siblings included 3 brothers and one sister who committed suicide. He took formal training in Carnatic music, and received first training from N K Vasudeva Panikkar. It was his guru who realized the real potential of this young boy, who excelled in light music, film songs and bhajanas. As suggested by his Guru, he joined Kerala Kalamandalam, the great place for Kerala arts.


He studied till 8th standard and he enrolled for Kathakali music at Kerala Kalamandalam at the age of 17. He studied in Gurukulam style. Among his gurus included the prolific artist Kalamandalam Neelakantan Nambisan, a trendsetter of Kathakali music. After the competition of course, it was not easy for him to start a living with Kathakali music. Though he had passion towards light music, he solely concentrated on to Kathakali music. A purist of the classical art form he was against experiments in this music form.


Started his career as a teacher in Peroor Gandhi sadhanam, he worked in many institutions including Kerala Kalamandalam, as a music teacher. He also taught at New Delhi, Mumbai etc at different points of time. At the age of 38, he moved to Sreekrishnapuram of Palakkad district where he spent 16 years.

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Updated: March 13, 2016

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