Sri Sambasiva Iyer –Great Grand Father
He had the good fortune to have Sri.Thirumarugal Natesa Pillai,maternal uncle of Legendary Rajarathnam Pillai , as his guru. He was associated with the Thiruvaduthurai Aadhinam as the Asthana Vidwan in his later years.He served as the coveted state artiste in the Mysore Palace.He was contemporary to Palladam Sanjeeva Rao and Nagaraja Rao.He passed away at an young age.
Sri T.R.MAHALINGAM ( FLUTE MALI)
One of the greatest flautists ever to be born.He introduced the gayaki style of playing of the Bamboo Flute. A genius who set a benchmark for Flute playing,introduced new fingering techniques, and a grip on the flute that came to be known as the “parrot clutch or the cross-fingering style “, allowing greater control. His exploration of a raga and the mathematical progression in swaras always bore the Mali stamp.Shortly before his death, he was awarded India’s highly prestigious Padma Bhushan for music in January 1986, which he refused. He had a large number of disciples, of which T.S.Sankaran ,whom he referred to as “EKLAVYA” – was one of the closest of all his disciples and shared a bond much deeper than a guru-shishya relation.
Sri T.S.Sankaran –Grand Father
Hailing from a family where music was next only to worship of god, he was under the care and musical nourishment of his father,Sri Sambasiva Iyer till the age of 11. After his father’s sudden demise,he was naturally attracted to the charm and spell of Flute Legend Mali. He enjoyed the rare providential blessings of serving his guru,Mali,all through his life.He remained one of Mali’s closest associate and much more than a disciple to him, such was the closeness between the two. Flute Mali was quoted introducing T.S.Sankaran as “EKLAVYA”- the self taught student of Dronacharya from the Epic Mahabharatha, way back in 1961-KUMUDAM Magazine,( popular Tamil weekly) in an interview with Poet Vali.
T.S.Sankaran is the torch bearer of the Mali style of playing and introduced the Nadaswaram way of playing “brigas” on the flute and emphasized on strong blowing giving rise to a rich tone. A proud recipient of honours such as Sangeeth Natak Akademi Award – 2000 and the Kalaimamani-1986.He is an ‘A Top’ graded artiste in AIR/TV and has travelled all over the globe. A teacher par excellence with many of his students making a mark in the field of music including his grandson Flute J.A.Jayanth.