About Dr. V. K. Narayana Menon
Dr. V. K. Narayana Menon (Thrissur Thekke Kurupath Narayana Menon) (born 1911) was a scholar of classical Indian dance and Indian classical music. He was one of the prominent art critic of India and a Fellow of the Sangeet Natak Akademi. Menon was born in Kerala. He started his career as BBC Music program producer. Later he became the Director General of the same. He had held important positions in art institutions and broadcasting centres of India. He was Deputy Director of All India Radio. He was the secretary of Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi- supreme centre for art, music and dance of Government of India. He was the President of National Centre for the Performing Arts- Bombay etc. During these tenures he promoted various arts and artists immensely. He was noted for his writings about Classical Indian dance and music. He has written many articles and books on the subject. He was considered as one of the finest Indian art critic. Kerala A profile, Balasaraswati (About the life of great Bharatanatyam dancer Balasaraswati), The Communication Revolution, The Language of Music, Development of William Butler Yeats are some of his works. He used to write columns regularly in reputed magazines like Illustrated Weekly of India and newspapers. Indian government honoured him by the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 1980. He was married to the daughter of Rabindranath Tagore's brother.
Dr V.K. Narayana Menon (1911-1997) was a great writer and renowned scholar of music. He worked for the BBC during the Second World War and joined All India Radio in 1948 and became Director General in 1965. Besides being the Chairman of the Sangeet Natak Akademi, he held executive positions in a number of cultural bodies of national and international importance in 1969. He received the Padma Bhushan for his services to the field of Music and Broadcasting. A man for all seasons, Dr. Menon has written books on topics as diverse as W.B. Yeats, Kerala and the Communication Revolution.
Dr.Menon also authored a number of valuable books on music and literature. His translation of Thakazhi Sivashankara Pillai’s Malayalam novel “Chemmen” into English, for example, is a remarkable literary achievement.
Some of the important books of his collection are:
The Arts of Mridangan by T.R. Harihara Sharma,
International symposium on the conservation and restoration of cultural property, Preservation and development of the tradition (N.50).
Nritanjali: an Introduction to Hindu Dancing by Ragini.
Jane Austen and Her Art by Mary Lascelles
Musicology by Frank LL Harrison.
IGNCA is fortunate to have his collection in its Reference Library comprising books on Malayalam literature and rare books on music and valuable reports on All India Music seminars and other areas of culture. His collection of 1,850 volumes was graciously donated by his wife Smt. Rekha Menon to IGNCA in 1999.
Dr. V. K. Narayana Menon's Timeline
June 27, 1911
Thrissur, Thrissur, Kerala, India
New Delhi, India
New Delhi, India
Sangeeth Natak Academy, New Delhi