Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan (born 1935) is a violinist from south India. He plays South Indian Classical Music on his violin. Kunnakudi is his place of origin. He is a recipient of the Padma Shri and is considered by many to be an arresting and innovative violinist in the Carnatic Genre. Born in 1935 to Sri Ramaswamy Sastri and Smt. Meenakshi at Kunnakudi, an important Lord Muruga Kshetram of Tamil Nadu, his father was an erudite scholar in Sanskrit, Tamil and Carnatic Music as well as a great composer and exponent of Carnatic Music and Kathakalakshepam. So, for the young Vaidyanathan, Veda Sastram and Sangeetam were the main disciplines besides schooling, his father being his first teacher.
At the young age of 12, because of his sound knowledge, he was allowed to accompany great stalwarts like Shri Ariyakudi, Shri Semmangudi and Shri Maharajapuram.
Known for his dexterity and subtlety in handling the violin, he caters his art not only to a scholar of music but also to a layman. His play reflects his own different moods and the demands of his audience with whom he establishes and enjoys a good rapport. He dwells with ease and competence in the high as well as the low octaves.
Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan has deep faith in the therapeutical merits of music. Sacred Ash and a big Saffron Dot smeared prominently on his forehead are his trademark symbols. Hestopped accompanying vocal artistes in 1976 to concentrate more on solo concerts and is famous for his experiments on violin, which he refers as fingering techniques.
Besides continuing his profession, he joined the film orchestra with modern Theatres, Salem. In 1963, his Carnatic base and light music knowledge helped him to join in HMV as a freelance Music Director mainly for producing Bhakthi Songs. To prove his merit in the region of music, he chose celluloid media and produced Tamil Musical films of his own. The feature film ‘Todi’, his full length presentation of rich music with T.N. Seshagopalan was a success.
Honours have pursued him. He was awarded the prestigious "Padma Shri" title by the Indian government, "Sangita Mamani", "Best Music Director" award and more than 200 other awards!