Shri Madurai Ramaswamy Gautam was born in 1924 in Tiruchi in Tamil Nadu. He learnt Hindustani music under the guidance of a number of teachers including Ram Rao Naik, the Dagar brothers, Dilip Chandra Vedi, Anwar Hussain Khan, Siddheshwari Devi and Begum Akhtar.
A dedicated teacher of music, Shri Gautam has served as Head of the Music Department at Banaras Hindu University between 1954 and 1981. Later, during the period 1981 to 1983, he was Vice-Chancellor of Indira Kala Sangeet Viswavidyalaya at Khairagarh. At the start of his career he also worked as a Music Producer for All India Radio. An erudite musician and a fluent speaker on music, he has organized and attended many seminars and workshops all over India and other countries. He has several records, audio-cassettes, and CDs to his credit. For his service to music, Shri Gautam has been honoured with the Uttar Pradesh Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2008. He is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society, London.
Shri M.R. Gautam receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Hindustani vocal music.