THE BEGINNING

Sri Nayana Pillai used to conduct Thyagaraja Uthsavam concerts in Kancheepuram and the 4 siblings used to promptly attend those concerts. Renowned musicians like Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Musiri Subramanya Iyer, Rajaratnam Pillai performed during this festival. With the memory cells of the human brain being their only aid to recollect those songs, DKP amma and her brothers used to grasp the lyrics and music of each song, come back and have a discussion and memorize what they heard. If there is a forgotten phrase in between, the enthusiastic siblings would wait indefinitely for another concert in Kancheepuram when the same song would be sung. When she was ten, she gave her first ever concert for Corporate Radio, Madras and gradually went on to give stage concerts, despite apprehensions and opposition from her community. Dr. P.S. Srinivasan Iyer of Kancheepuram and her school headmistress Smt Ammu Kutty Ammal were instrumental in persuading her father to encourage the unique talent in DKP amma and made him postpone the idea of confining her to home and getting her married early. She was one of those rare women who got married only at the age of twenty one, at a period when child marriage was the order. She studied upto VIII grade (called III form in those days) and became a teacher during her teens. The family later shifted to Chennai.

 Dr.P.S.Srinivasan Iyer  D.K.Pattammal with D.K.Nagarajan and D.K.Jayaraman,Sri Krishnamachari-Violin, Smt.Kanakambujam-Mridhangam