|Born on February 24, 1934, at Konerirajapuram, to Dr. P. N. Subramaniam, a medical practitioner, Pichai exhibited his talent in music at a very tender age and his parents put him under Thirupampuram Somasundaram Pillai, a nagaswaram vidwan, for his music lessons. PSN made rapid progress and later came under Sangitakalanidhi Mudikondan Venkatarama Iyer, and then under Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer. Under the gurukulavasa system, he joined Semmangudi in the early 1950s. PSN had started giving concerts, both public and through All India Radio, at the age of 15.
Blessed with a powerful voice, Narayanaswami absorbed the special aspects of the music of all stalwart musicians of the last century, carving out a style of his own, even though the Semmangudi style was clearly perceptible in his renditions. As his voice responded very well to fast tempo music, his style became `briga' oriented. He has had the privilege of being accompanied by stalwarts of the last century.
PSN's own students, who have made a significant mark on the concert platform, comprise a large number. This list consists of not only vocalists but also violinists and other instrumentalists. PSN served All India Radio, Chennai, as a conductor of the Vadya Vrinda, and he is accredited with a number of symphonies. Setting to music a number of compositions is another aspect of his musical virtuosity. `Tiru Arutpa' was set to music by him and this was presented by him at a recent conference of the Music Academy, along with his students.
Narayanswami has been the recipient of many awards and titles. He received the title, `Bala Gana Kala Rathnam' when he was just 12 years old. In 2000, he was conferred the title, `Sangeetha Kala Acharya' by the Music Academy. The `Padma Bhushan' awarded to him by the Government of India, comes as a crowning glory