Daughter and disciple of the eminent Musician-musicologist, the late Sri Rangaramanuja Ayyangar, the author of the magnum opus, Kritimanimalai Series, Padma Varadan's career as a performing Veena artiste spanned over six decades. Her debut on the concert platform was when she was barely nine years old with Sri Vellore Ramabhadran on Mridangam in 1942.A post-graduate in English with a degree in teaching as well from the Madras University, she was an 'A' grade artiste on the lists of All India Radio and Doordarshan. Her Veena music was broadcast over the radio and televison network regularly. A sampling of her exquiste style of music may be enjoyed by clicking on the 'Music Player' tab above.
Padma had concerts all over India and abroad in Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and at cultural centres in and around Michigan and New York in USA. Subtlety, depth and clarity of exposition were the hallmark of her music. She conducted Lecture-Demonstrations on features of Carnatic Music, on Solfa notation and Veena technique at venues like the Madras Music Academy and Universities like SNDT and Visakhapatnam.
Padma at AIR, Pune (c. 1954)
Padma was deeply committed to a Veena legacy her father bequeathed to her - a music tradition espoused and transmitted to him by the renowned Veena Dhanammal and acknowledged by the cognoscenti as unique, almost esoteric in content and appeal.
As the founder Trustee of Vipanci Charitable Trust, she kept alive the colossal publication work her father single-handedly accomplished. These monumental publications run into thousands of pages in print in Tamil and English, highlighting both theory and practice of South Indian Music.
The English adaptations of the first three volumes of Sri Kritimanimalai were her tributes to her father's memory. She was working on the fourth volume of the series and on the revised edition of 'Sangitaratnakara - A Study' when she succumbed to illness in November 2009.
Flavour of Veena Dhanammal, G. Subramaniam, The Hindu, May 27, 2005
Krtimanimalai, English Version, Report on release function, The Hindu, May 21, 2005