Leela Omchery

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Leela Omchery
A portrait of Leela Omchery who will be presented with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for Traditional & Folk Music - Kerala by the President Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam in New Delhi on October 26, 2004.jpg
Thiruvattar, Kanyakumari, India
OccupationSinger, musicologist, writer
Spouse(s) Omchery N. N. Pillai
Awards Padmashri
Kendra Sangeet Natak Academy Award
Marunaadan Malayaali Award
Fellow – Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi
Sangeeta Kulapathi
Sangeet Kovida
Sangeeta Sarva Bhouma
Website http://leelaomchery.org

Leela Omchery is a classical singer, musicologist and writer. She is known for her contributions to classical music and is a recipient of Padmashri award from Government of India for her contributions to Indian classical dance and music. [1]


Life Sketch

Leela Omchery was born in 1928 in Mankoyikkal tharavdu in Thiruvattar in Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu. Her parents were Parameswara Kurup and Lakshmikutty Amma. She started learning music from an early age under Karnatic music guru, Thiruvattar Arumugham Pillai Bhagavathar, along with her younger brother, late Kamukara Purushothaman, a known classical and playback singer in Malayalam. [2] Hailing from a family of musicians, she had the opportunity to hone her music talents under the guidance of her grand mother and mother who were musicians in their own rights.

After early schooling in Kanyakumari, she obtained graduate degree in Carnatic music from Women's college, Thiruvananthapuram and continued her studies in Hindustani music at Punjab University and obtained another graduate degree. Her Master's degree came from Meerut University and she got her PhD in music from Delhi University. [3]

She is married to famous writer Omchery N. N. Pillai and resides in New Delhi. The couple has two children, S.D. Omchery and Deepti Omchery Bhalla, a renowned classical dancer.

She has also written some short stories.


Leela Omchery is presently working as a Professor in Kamukara School of Music, Dance and Research Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala and as Professor and Principal of Trikalaa Gurukulam in Delhi. [4]

She is the President of Dakshina Bharati (a south Indian Women’s Organization) and Vice President of Swaralaya, Delhi.

She is an accredited Supervisor and Guide to Ph.D and M.Phil from various universities including Delhi, Kerala, Calicut, Baroda, Nalanda, and Bombay. She is also a member of the Selection Board of AIR, Doordarshan, ICCR, IGNCA, SNA (Delhi), Ministry of Culture and IGNOU.

She has also worked as the Associate Professor and Head, Karnatak Music Section, Faculty of Music & Fine Arts, University of Delhi (1964–1994). She also served as Editorial Staff of Indian Music Journal, Vageeshwari, (1975–1994).



Indian Music and Allied Arts (5 volumes)Sandeep Prakashan, Delhi1990
Gleanings in Indian MusicSandeep Prakashan, Delhi1991
Immortals of Indian MusicGyan Books, Delhi1998


Abhinaya SangeethamBhasha Institute, Kerala1981
Paadavum PadhavumD.C. Books, Kerala
Keralathile Laasya RachanakalD.C. Books, Kerala2003
Chinakkara Koothu PaattukalMudra Books, Delhi2008
Leela Omcheriyude PathangalPoorna Books, Kerala2009
Karuna Cheyvanenthu Thamsam KrishnaD.C. Books, Kerala2011
Vettam Mangiya Kovil PaattukalPoorna Books, Kerala2012

On Other Topics

She is also credited with over 200 published articles.

Awards and recognitions

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  1. "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 January 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 May 2014. Retrieved 2 May 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Further reading