Ambalapuzha Brothers Memorial Trust
Welcome to the website dedicated to the memory of the legendary Nadaswaram maestros, the Ambalapuzha Brothers. Ambalapuzha Brothers were doyens in the field of Nadaswaram recital for more than five decades in the last century. The trio brought together an ensemble with the auspicious wind instrument captivating the audience into new and interesting realms of expression. Ambalapuzha Brothers Memorial Trust is an endeavor for remembering and rejoicing in the inspiration that these great musicians have brought to us.
The legacy of Ambalapuzha Brothers
Few contemporary performers can boast a longer, creative and accomplished career than the evergreen Ambalapuzha Brothers. K. Sankaranarayana Panicker, K. Gopalakrishna Panicker and K. Ramakrishna Panicker, named ‘Ambalapuzha’ after their birthplace, were born to Sri. Kuttappa Panicker, a renowned Nadaswaram performer of the time. Beginning to learn the basic lessons from the father, music was not just a profession to the Brothers, but a cultural heritage.
Sankaranarayana Panicker began stage performances at a very young age with his adolescent brother Gopalakrishna Panicker. Sankaranarayana Panicker was a scholar and one of the greatest improvisers who embodied a tradition and still had a personal way of playing. Gopalakrishna Panicker had an innate ability to quickly grasp rhythmic measures as well as melodic scales. His fondness for the instrument grew the more he played it. When the talents synergized expressing themselves, the music was bound to be remarkable. The sound, space and feel of it made listeners involved in every beat and note of the music. Ramakrishna Panicker, the youngest brother, possessed an incredible array of talents enabling him to excel in myriad art forms. Having a keen sense for rhythm, he was a gifted actor, dancer, singer, flautist and nadaswaram player. After the demise of his eldest brother, he focused on stage performances with Gopalakrishna Panicker to continue the legacy of Ambalapuzha Brothers.
Patrons of Art
Sankaranarayana Panicker also made a name for himself as the founder of Chempakassery Nadana Kala Kendram, a composer of kathakali plays, and a social reformer. A remarkable scholar in Karnatic music, his home, Thottakkadu Veedu, was second home for most of the popular artists of the time. He reestablished the ‘gurukula sampradayam’ for music education. A great mentor and teacher, passionate about the talents of his disciples, he brought many a local artists to the mainstream. Gopalakrishna Panicker was a prodigy who patronized a good number of disciples and had a faithful following. Ramakrishna Panicker was popular as a choreographer in movies and for his remarkable performance in the title role in the movie ‘Kummatti’. The Brothers are remembered for their contributions in bringing a high school in Ambalapuzha and raising the issues of accompaniment artists in the legislature.
The Brothers’ pioneering efforts have helped Ambalapuzha earn a prestigious name in the field of music. Thottakkadu veedu was an abode of performers and students of music alike, and reverberated with musical notes. The grateful people of Ambalapuzha named the ‘Pandrandu Kalabham’ as Sankaranarayana Kalolsavam, in memory of the artists. There is a two-day Sankaranarayana Sangeetholsavam to promote young talent during 11th and 12th day of Kalotsavam.
Awards & Honors
• Keerthanalagara Bhooshithar by Maharajah of Mysore