Early Life of Lalgudi Jayaraman
This legendry maestro was born on 17th September 1930 to the famous disciple of the great saint musician Thyagaraja, V.R Gopala Iyar. From his versatile father who trained him, he inherited the essence of Carnatic Music. His son G. J. R. Krishnan and his daughter Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi followed the footsteps of their father and is famous in their own rights.
Musical Career of Lalgudi Jayaraman
His musical career stated at the tender age of twelve as an accompanying violinist. He escorted numerous musicians in their concerts. While accompanying them in their concerts, he reached the forefront in rapid strides being endowed with rich imagination, quick grasp and an ability to adapt easily to the individual styles of the leading maestros in Carnatic music. The rich concert experience he thus gained, coupled with sheer hard work and perseverance and the strong urge to give original expression to the musical ideas surging in him, he emerged as a solo violinist of rare brilliance. He revolutionised the style of violin playing by inventing a whole new technique that is designed to best suit the needs of Indian Classical Music and Lalgudi Jayaraman's invented new technique of playing the violin came to be known as 'Lalgudi Bani'.
With his flawless and fascinating style, graceful and original, yet not diverting from traditional roots he gained numerous fans. Lalgudi have to his credit composed several 'kriti', 'tillana' and 'varnams' and dance compositions, which are a scintillating blend of raga, bhava, rhythm and lyrical beauty. The unique feature about this multi dimensional personality Lalgudi is that his music is very expressive. Lalgudi's instrumental genius comes to the fore in the form of lyrical excellence. Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman has made compositions in four languages, namely Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Sanskrit.
Lalgudi has been in great demand for accompanying vocalists, and has accompanied such great vocal virtuosos as Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, G. N. Balasubramaniam, Madurai Mani Iyer, Maharajapuram Santhanam, D. K. Jayaraman, M.Balamurali Krishna, T. V. Sankaranarayanan, T. N. Seshagopalan etc. His accompanying wizardry and lightning quick responses to the various challenges posed by the main artistes remain unsurpassed.
His accomplishments are numerous but chief of them is the fact Lalgudi Jayaraman was the first violinist who brought international focus on the Carnatic style of violin playing. In the year 1966, he also introduced a new concept of musical assembly, with violin, venu (flute) and veenaand gave several outstanding concerts. Lalgudi has taken part in concerts, not only on the Indian soil, but also a number of countries abroad. He has been to Russia as a member of the Indian Cultural Delegation and played at the Edinburgh Music Festival in 1965. Yehudi Menuhin, the renowned violinist, presented him with his Italian violin in the festival, impressed by Lalgudi's technique. He has also performed in Singapore, Malaysia, Manila and a number of East European countries. His recordings submitted to the International Music Council, Baghdad, Asian Pacific Music Rostrum and Iraq Broadcasting Agency by All India Radio, New Delhihave been adjudged as the best and accorded the first position out of 77 entries received from the various countries during 1979. He was invited to give concerts at Cologne, Belgium and France. Government of India chooses Lalgudi to represented India at the Festival of India in US.
Lalgudi Jayaraman gave solo and 'Jugalbandi' concerts in London and also in Germany and Italy that received enthusiastic reviews. Lalgudi went on a tour in the year 1984 to Oman, UAE, Qatar and Bahrain that was highly successful. The operatic ballet 'Jaya Jaya Devi' which premiered in 1994 at Cleveland, USA, the lyrics and music was composed by him. It was staged in many other cities in USA. In October 1999, Lalgudi performed in UK under the auspices of Shruthi Laya Seva Sangham. The concert was a roaring success. After the concert a Dance Drama 'Pancheswaram', composed by Lalgudi was staged.
Awards and Title Received by Lalgudi Jayaraman
* In 1963, the legendary Carnatic music genius has earned several titles like 'Nada Vidya Tilaka' by Music Lovers' Association of Lalgudi.
* The Government of India has conferred him the prestigious civilian award 'Padma Shri' in 1972.
* He has also received 'Nada Vidya Rathnakara' by East West Exchange in New York and "Vadya Sangeetha Kalaratna" by Bharathi Society, New York.
* In Madras he was conferred the 'Sangeetha Choodamani' by Federation of Music Sabhas, in 1971 and in 1972 'State Vidwan of Tamil Nadu' by the Government of Tamil Nadu and 'Sangeetha Natak Academy award' in 1979 were also given to him.
* The 'First Chowdaiah Memorial National-Level award' was given to Sri Jayaraman by the Chief Minister of Karnataka. He has also received honorary citizenship of Maryland, USA in 1994. In the year 2001 the Government of India honoured him with the civilian award "Padma Bhushan".
Compositions by Lalgudi Jayaraman