Considered the highest accolade in the field of Carnatic music, it came into existence in 1942. Prior to that, a senior musician/expert was invited to preside over the Music Academy’s annual conference. In 1942, it was decided that the musician so invited would be conferred the title of Sangita Kalanidhi, the award comprising a gold medal and a birudu patra (citation). Since 2005, the Sangita Kalanidhi also receives the MS Subbulakshmi Award instituted by The Hindu. This cash award has seen its value enhanced by generous contributions by P Vijaykumar Reddy, son of past Vice-President P Obul Reddy.