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Lalgudi Jayaraman
One can go on writing tomes on the musical genius Lalgudi Jayaraman. But I will only attempt a short take on him here.

The 77-year-old maestro has been playing for 41 years. His music is still as refreshing as ever. If anything, it only blooms afresh day by day.

Born in the lineage of an illustrious disciple of the great saint Thyagaraja, he inherited the essence of Carnatic music from his father V.R.Gopala Iyer, who trained him meticulously.

He started his musical career at the age of 12, accompanying leading vocalists of the day. Endowed with rich imagination and great inborn skills, he rose to the pinnacle of fame quickly, accompanying all leading maestros of the day, with an ability to adapt to the varying styles of the different maestros, and contributing to the success of their vocal concerts in a large measure.

He rose to be a solo violinist of rare brilliance due to his hard work and dedication, coupled with the rich experience gained accompanying the maestros, and his genius which gave original expression to the musical ideas surging within him.

His revolutionary violin-playing technique became a distinct school of music and came to be known as "Lalgudi bani", which is characterized by a flawless and fascinating style, soft and melodious bowing, distinctly different from the harsh bowing techniques of his earlier predecessors, and yet deeply rooted in traditional classicism.

Another fascinating facet of this multi-dimensional personality is his emergence as a forefront composer of krithis, varnams and thillanas, which exhibit sheer lyrical brilliance coupled with bhavam, rhythm and melody.

His compositions are in great demand with all present generation of musicians, who perform these in most of their concerts.

As a soloist, he has performed extensively, giving thousands of concerts in India and abroad, receiving rave reviews everywhere, and being honoured by Government of India and also by many foreign governments and by such leading international violinists like Yehudi Menuhin, who presented him with a precious Italian violin after being bowled over by his genius at one of his concerts.

Awards and tributes have come to him by the dozens.

'Nada Vidya Tilaka' by Music Lovers' Association of Lalgudi in 1963; 'Padma Shri' by the Government of India in 1972; 'Nada Vidya Rathnakara' by East West Exchange in New York; 'Vadya Sangeetha Kalaratna' by Bharathi Society, New York; 'Sangeetha Choodamani' by Federation of Music Sabhas, Madras in 1971; State Vidwan of Tamil Nadu by the Government of Tamil Nadu in 1972; and Sangeetha Natak Academy award in 1979 .

The First Chowdaiah Memorial National-Level award was given to Lalgudi Jayaraman by the Chief Minister of Karnataka. He has also received honorary citizenship of Maryland, U.S. in 1994 and the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 2001.

He may not have got with Music Academy's Sangeeta Kalanidhi title for assorted reasons. The Academy corrected this anomaly by conferring on him the rare one-off Lifetime Achievement Award recently.

Another singular achievement of Lalgudi was the formation of the concept of musical ensembles in 1966 and he gave many such ensemble concerts and received great acclaim for the innovation.

Geniuses like Lalgudi Jayaraman are born once in a millennium. They set new trends in the realm of music. May Lalgudi Jayarama live up to a ripe old age and continue his great contributions to Carnatic music.
Comments
Balasubramanian Murali
Lalgudi Shri G. Jayaraman accompanied Ariyakkudi (passed away in 1967), the great GNB (First May 1965), Musiri Subramania Iyer (senior to GNB), Madurai Mani year (passed away in 1970s) etc. So, Shri Jayaraman was playing / accompanying over five decades. (0431 - 257 8447)
Sridhar Subramanian - subramanian.sridhar@gmail.com
Concise and well written article. In addition to creating his own kith and kin to perform, he has several disciples who are leading artistes and carry on his bani. I pray to God each day to blesss Lalgudi sir with long life and good health.