I present to you, Madam, Dr.
Narayana Menon, one of the
most distinguished personalities
on the cultural scene of
Shri Menon was born in 1911 and was educated at Madras University where he obtained his Masters degree in English. He received his Doctorate from the University of Edinburgh. He had been a keen student of Indian Music, and a performer on the Veena of the Karnatak School. He joined the British Broadcasting Corporation and was Advisor and Producer of Music Programme in their Eastern services from 1942 to 1947. He returned to India and joined All India Radio in 1948 where he served in many capacities and was largely responsible for the promotion of classical music programmes and the formation of the All India Radio orchestra.
In 1963 his services were lent, briefly, to head the Sangeet Natak Akademi as Secretary. In 1968 he returned to A.I.R. as Director-General. In 1968, he was appointed Executive Director of the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Bombay, a position that he still holds. He is also Honorary Executive Director of the Homi Bhabha Fellowship Council. Shri Menon has done much for the understanding of Indian music abroad. Along with Yehudi Menuhin and Ravi Shankar he has been actively engaged in promoting an exchange of the best artistes in music and dance between countries, East and West. For his significant contribution he was elected President of the International Music Council, UNESCO for 1966-68 and again for 1976-78. He has served on several national and international bodies, including as, Chairman International Institute of Comparative Studies, Berlin, as Director, Film Finance Corporation 1971-76 and as Member of the Advisory Board, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. Dr. Menon has several publications to his credit and has recorded classical Indian Music on the Veena. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1969 and Membred’ Honneur (Member of Honour) by the International Music Council UNESCO in 1980.
For his eminence in the field of the performing arts and his contribution to their enrichment Dr. Narayana Menon has been elected Fellow of the Akademi.