Kalanidhi, Isai Perarignar Dr. S. Ramanathan
Guru and father of Geetha Bennett
was a musician and musicologist of high calibre.
Through the oral tradition he was the recipient of the masterpieces of the most famous 17th century composers, Sri
Tyagaraja, Sri Muthuswamy Dikshithar and Sri Syama Sastri, having been bequeathed to their descendants.
He was a disciple of Tiger
Varadachariar, Sabesa Iyer, Ponniah Pillai, and Sathur Krishna
Iyengar. Among his accomplishments are number of varnams and
kritis, residencies at several American universities and a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut.
He also had trained a number of students who achieved recognition in the carnatic music field like
P.UnniKrishnan, S. Sowmya, Savithri Sathyamurthy, Seetha Narayanan, Vasumathi
Nagarajan, Sukanya Raghunathan (veena), Banumathy Raghuraman (veena/vocal who runs a mucic school
"Alapana" in a grand scale in Singapore with her husband
Raghuraman), Vidya Hariharan (veena and vocal), Vanathy
Raghuraman, Latha Radhakrishnan (violin and vocal), Padma Gadiyar
(veena), Thyagarajan/Raju,Sucharithra, Lavanya, and Kalpana (Pavithra) to name a few. Acclaimed as a Vidwan of Vidwans by none other than Sri Semmangudi Srinivasa
Iyer, his dedication to reach the masses also was evident in the regular meetings he addressed at the Gandhi Peace
Centre, called "Music for Layman". His translation of Subbarama Dikshitar's Sangeetha Sampradaya Pradharshini as also numerous books on music & musicology serve as authentic reference material on Indian music for all times to come.