The following is a list of prominent Carnatic musicians.
The 1930s to the 1960s, often referred to as the modern Golden era of Carnatic music, was a period in which a number of Carnatic vocalists of high calibre, great skill, and musical insight rose to fame as concert star-musicians.
D. K. Pattammal, M. L. Vasanthakumari and M. S. Subbulakshmi, commonly referred to as the female trinity of Carnatic music, were in their teenage years when they began their careers, and rose to fame during this era. Other female singers that followed included K. B. Sundarambal,N. C. Vasanthakokilam,T. Brinda,T. Muktha, as well as Radha Jayalakshmi.Rajam Pushpavanam rose to prominence in her teens in the 1930s but gave up singing in 1943, in kutcheris, due to the unfortunate death of her son, when she was away at a concert.
The leading male vocalists during this period were Muthiah Bhagavathar,Valadi Krishnaiyer, Mysore Vasudevachar, D Subbaramaiah,Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer,Chembai,Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar,Musiri Subramania Iyer,Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer,Alathur Brothers,G. N. Balasubramaniam,Madurai Mani Iyer,Ramnad Krishnan,Alathur Venkatesa Iyer, Palghat Srirama Bhagavathar, and M. D. Ramanathan.
The next generation of vocalists who were prominent in the concert area included Palghat Kollengode Viswanatha Narayanaswamy,D. K. Jayaraman,Maharajapuram Santhanam,S. Ramanathan, V. Ramarathnam, Madurai Somu, Sirkazhi Govindarajan and Neyyattinkara Vasudevan.
Some of the most famous and accomplished senior vocalists today include K. J. Yesudas, T. V. Gopalakrishnan, Aruna Sairam , Bombay Sisters, T.N.Seshagopalan, R. Vedavalli, T V Sankaranarayanan, Neyveli Santhanagopalan, S.R.Janakiraman, Krishnamoorthy, Nookala Chinna Satyanarayana, O. S. Thyagarajan, P. S. Narayanaswamy, Manda Sudharani, R. K. Srikantan, Rama Ravi, Vijay Siva, Mani Krishnaswamy, Mangalampalli Balmuralikrishna, and Trichur V Ramachandran.
Leading current vocalists include Sriram Parthasarathy, Aruna Sairam, T. M. Krishna, Sudha Ragunathan, Nithyashree Mahadevan, Sanjay Subrahmanyan, Ranjani-Gayatri, Abhishek Raghuram, Bombay Jayashri, P. Unnikrishnan, Vishaka Hari, S. Sowmya, Sikkil Gurucharan, Ramakrishnan Murthy, Malladi Brothers Gayathri Venkataraghavan, Trichur Brothers.
Other popular current vocalists include Charulatha Mani, Amrutha Venkatesh, Vani Sateesh, Shertalai Dr. K. N. Renganatha Sharma, Prince Rama Varma, Nisha Rajagopal, Gayathri Girish, R. Suryaprakash, Sreevalsan J Menon, Sandeep Narayan, Saraswati Vidyardhi, K. V. Krishna Prasad, Saketharaman and Kunnakudi Balamuralikrishna
Upcoming vocalists include Sriranjani Santhanagopalan, Sampagodu Vighnaraja, Chong Chiu Sen (Sai Madhana Mohan Kumar), Rithvik Raja, Akshay Padmanabhan , Bharat Sundar, Vignesh Ishwar and Sunil Gargyan
T. Chowdiah, Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan, Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu, Lalgudi G. Jayaraman, M.S.Gopalakrishnan excelled in violin, while Palghat Mani Iyer, Nagercoil S Ganesa Iyer, Palani Subramaniam Pillai, C.S. Murugabhupathy, Palghat R. Raghu and Mavelikkara Velukkutty Nair redefined the role of mridangam in concerts in the recent past. T.K.Radhakrishnan, T. R. Mahalingam and Thyagarajan were famous flute players. Some of the well known veena players include Veena Dhanammal, Doraiswamy Iyengar, Emani Sankara Sastry, Ivaturi Vijayeswara Rao, Challapally Chitti Babu and S. Balachander.
L. Subramaniam, T.N.Krishnan, H.K. Venkatram, M. Chandrasekaran and A. Kanyakumari are among the living violinists who still perform. The mridangists who fall under this category includes Karaikudi R Mani, Trichy Sankaran, T S Nandakumar, Thiruvarur Bakthavathsalam, Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman, T. K. Murthy, Guruvayur Dorai, Mannargudi Easwaran, T. V. Gopalakrishnan, Srimushnam V. Raja Rao, Madurai Dr.K.Thyagarajan, Thetakudi Harihara Vinayakram and T.H. Subash Chandran are Ghatam players who are in this category.
N. Ramani, Sikkil Sisters , Sikkil Mala Chandrasekar, Vijay Venkat, K. Bhaskaran and Shashank Subramanyam, are the most well known flute players of today, while E. Gayathri, S. Balachander, Kalpakam Swaminathan and Rugmini Gopalakrishnan are known in the same way for playing the Veena. Kadri Gopalnath is similarly known for his Carnatic talents on the saxophone, U. Srinivas for Mandolin, while N. Ravikiran is known in the same way for playing several stringed instruments, most notably the Chitraveena/Gottuvadhyam and R. Prasanna popularly known as Guitar Prasanna, plays carnatic music on the Electric Guitar.
Violinists of today include A. Kanyakumari, Embar Kannan, Vittal Rangan, Ambi Subramaniam, Lalgudi G.J.R. Krishnan, Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi, Vittal Ramamurthy, H.K. Venkatram, Mysore Manjunath, Nagai Muralidharan, Ganesh and Kumaresh, Avaneeswaram S R Vinu, R. K. Shriramkumar, Nagai Sriram, Usha Rajagopal, L.Athira Krishna , Mysore Srikanth and HN Bhaskar
Mridangists of today include Anoor Ananthakrishna Sharma, Anoor Vinod Shyam, K V Prasad, Erickavu N. Sunil,.Kamalakar Rao, Yella Venkateswara Rao, Patri Satish Kumar, Anantha R Krishnan and NC Baradwaj
Ghatam specialists include Vikku Vinayakram and Giridhar Udupa. The distinction of being the first woman Ghatam player in the world goes to Sukanya Ramgopal- she also has the distinction of being a guru to many other women Ghatam artistes.
Veena players of today include Sriram Parthasarathy, Veena R Parthasarathy, Echampati Gayathri, Tirupati Srivani Yalla, D. Balakrishna, Jayanthi Kumaresh, D.Srinivas, Nirmala Rajasekhar R. Prasanna also known as Guitar Prasanna, plays carnatic music on the Electric Guitar with equal command and authenticity as played on any other popular instrument.