Kalaprapoorna Anasuya Devi

“She was the first woman music composer in Andhra Pradesh, first woman music director in South India, first woman music composer in All India Radio, first to sing classical, folk and light music on radio and concert, first to publish Andhra’s light and folk music in Carnatic notation. She has got her first gramophone record at the age of 8 years.”…

So begins the Wikipedia write-up about singer, music composer, musicologist, author – Kalaprapoorna Dr. Avasarala (Vinjamuri) Anasuya Devi

She is now turning 90 years of age.  And that means she has been into music performance for more than 80 years now! A  Guinness feat one reckons!

9-Jan-2010… Saturday… Pictures…  I took these pictures in my cell-phone camera. The pictures aren’t sharp… But here is a glimpse into a galaxy from Gandharva loka gathered on the dias, at the mini-hall of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.

From left to right: Vasanthalakshmi Narasimhachari, P Susheela, Dr Balamuralikrishna, Anasuya Devi, Mrs YGP, Vyjayanthimala, S Janaki…

The occasion: Book release function… Five books, a compilation of Andhra folk songs, annotated… Authored by Anasuya Devi… Published by TTD…


Vyjayanthimala releases a book, received by Balamuralikrishna. Anasuya Devi, and Mrs YGP…


P Susheela opens a book…


S Janaki…


It was a nice, homely kind of function.  Some four score or so, young and  old in the audience. Time flowed quick. Nice talks. P Susheela, Balamuralikrishna, S Janaki – they sang a bit too. Ended with a selection of songs rendered by young singers – accompanied by Anasuya Devi on the harmonium. Delightful. And finally, on audience request, Anasuya Devi cleared her throat – and sang…


Thank you Baru!


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6 Responses to “Kalaprapoorna Anasuya Devi”

  1. rajagopal sukumar Says:

    Nice post Kamesh. I had never heard of Anasuya Devi. 80 years in the field is definitely wow. How do you find about such events? I missed Romila Thapar’s history lecture. I read about it after the fact in the Hindu.

  2. gkamesh Says:

    Thanks Sukumar. Anasuya Devi and her sister are well known as Vinjamuri sisters… Here is a link from Hindu http://www.thehindu.com/fr/2008/04/11/stories/2008041150360200.htm .

    And I miss a lot of events too! I was fortunate to be there for this one!

  3. G.L.N.Murhty Says:

    Dear sir, Thank u for ur post this moning.I am extremely delighted to see these rare photos of towering personalities in carnatic music.I heard this nanogenerian doyen of carnatic and folk music when she was interviewed in a Telugu T.V.channel.If i am correct i heard that she will come with a book like this when she returns back from America.The Photo of three cuckoos of THRILINGA Desa is very rare indeed and it should be a collector’s pride. Thank u for giving this opportunity to look at that memorable function-Murthy

  4. gkamesh Says:

    Murthy Garu! Many thanks for your kind words. Yes, the photo of the three nightingales is indeed very special. P Susheela and S Janaki looked on with so much respect and affection, as Anasuya Devi tuned her harmonium and sang. This is the greatness of tradition. BTW, my mother tongue is Tamizh, and I know no Telugu. Yet, the underlying ‘constant’ in Indian tradition, is the basis of all expression, and the Rasa reaches the rasika – even one ignorant in the language.

    I am sure the organizers and press will publish much better pictures. A video was taken as well. I hope many get to see them and share the joy.

  5. Jayanthi Says:

    Had darshan of all the rich and rare south indian spices in one bowl.I am hearing about Anusuya Deviji for the first time.Thanks for enlightening me thru your post about this rare gem.


    it is a treat to see the pictures of great singers together on a stage.

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