Lalgudi Jayaraman: Legendary violinist,a liberated spirit

Lalgudi Jayaraman,the virtuoso who held generations captive with his mastery over violin,passed away.

Written by Gopu Mohan | New Delhi | Published: April 23, 2013 10:33:40 am

Lalgudi Jayaraman,the virtuoso who held generations captive with his mastery over violin,passed away on Monday. He was 82.

The grandson of Lalgudi RamaIyer,the court musician of the kingdom of Mysore,

and the son of musician Lalgudi Gopala Iyer,Jayaraman played alongside the masters of his own generation,including Chembbai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar,Semmangudi Srinivas Iyer,Maharajapuram Santhanam and M Balamurali Krishna.

On stage,Jayaraman had two faces. As an accompanying violinist,he played his role but never overshadowed the singer. Perhaps because he learnt to sing even before he learnt to play violin. But as a solo artiste,he was a liberated spirit so much so that his unique craft gave rise to a new style called Lalgudi Bani.

But even the new technique never crossed the rigid boundaries of Carnatic music.

Of course nothing less was expected from a musician whose grandfather was a disciple of saint-poet Thyagaraja. Sitting at Jayaraman’s ancestral house,Thyagaraja had composed the masterpiece devotional quintet Lalgudi Pancharatnam.

Jayaraman’s popularity took him across the world. In 1965,he played at the Edinburgh Music Festival on a request from world-renowned violin player Yehudi Menuhin.

Along with M S Gopalakrishnan and T N Krishnan,Jayaraman formed the famous violin trinity. He was also a noted composer,of varnams,kritis,and tillanas,and also an operatic ballet. He also won the national award for music direction in 2006 for Sringaram. But that year,he suffered a stroke and never performed live since.

Jayaraman received many awards,including Padma Bhushan in 2001. He is survived

by his wife Rajalakshmi,and son Lalgudi G J R Krishnanand and daughter GJR Vijayalakshmi,both violinists.

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