Lalgudi Jayaraman a World Acclaimed Violinist

Legendary violin maestro and one of the most prolific composers of modern times, Lalgudi Jayaraman, who died here today, strode like a colossus in the field of Carnatic music giving a new dimension to solo performance of the string instrument.

Born in lineage of an illustrious disciple of the great saint-composer Thyagaraja on September 17, 1930, in Lalgudi near Tiruchirappalli, Jayaraman began his music oddysey at the age of 12 under the tutelage of his father V R Gopala Iyer, also a violinist and composer.

A creative performer, innovator and teacher, his hard work and strong urge to give original expression to musical ideas helped him emerge as a solo violinist and a succesful composer.

In his early days, Jayaraman accompanied vocal virtuosos such as Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyenger, Chembbai Vaidyanatha Bagavathar, Semmangudi Srinivas Iyer, G N Balasubramaniam, Madurai Mani Iyer, M Balamurali Krishna and T N Sesha Gopalan.

He, along with his contemporaries M S Gopalakrishnan and T N Krishnan, was known as the violin trinity.

Jayaraman, a revered teacher, is also credited with inventing a new technique of playing the violin, which came to be known as 'Lalgudi Bani (style)' that best suited the needs of Indian classical music.

Though it was original and unique, it, however, wasn't too apart from the traditional style and thus was liked and appreciated by one and all.

Jayaraman had compsed numerous 'kritis', 'tillanas' and 'varnams' and prominent among them are 'Calamu Seyanela' in Valaj raga, 'Parama Karuna' in Garudadhvani and 'Vallabai Nayaka" in Mohana Kalyani raga. 

The celebrated musician, who had combined melody and rhythm deploying masterly technique, has been conferred with several awards including Padma Shri in 1972, Padma Vibhushan in 2001, Nada Vidya Tilaka by Music Lovers Assoication in 1963 and state Vidhwan of Tamil Nadu in 1979, besides Sangeet Natak Academy Fellow and the first 'Chowdaiah Memorial National-Level Award'.

He had also garnered the national film award for best music direction in the film 'Sringaram' in 2006.

During his six-decade career, Jayaraman, who introduced and popularised violin and Carnatic music in the Western world, gave performances in various countries including the UK, Russia, Singapore, the United States, Germany, Italy and the Middle East besides various parts of the country presenting over 1,000 solo concerts.

In 1965, he played at the Edinburgh Music Festival where renowned violinist Yehudi Menuhin presented Jayaraman with his Italian violin after being impressed by his masterly performance.

Also famed for his jugal bandhi concerts, Jayaraman had composed lyrics and music Operatic Ballet "jaya jaya devi", premiered in Cleveland in the US in 1994 and also staged in many other cities of that country.

In 1973, he introduced his son G J R Krishnan at the age of 13 and his daughter Vijayalakshmi a few years later and the trio held sway over music lovers for years together.

Jayaraman will always be remembered as a great violinist, percussion expert and a synthesizer.

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