Veteran Carnatic violinist-composer Lalgudi Gopala Iyer Jayaraman passed away on Monday evening in Chennai following cardiac arrest. He was 82. His contribution to Carnatic music is immeasurable.
Born in Lalgudi in Trichy in 1930, he was trained by his father V R Gopala Iyer. He was the disciple of the saint musician Thyagaraja. His quick grasp in the music made him one of the maestros in the country. He had started his career in music as an accompanying violinist at the age of 12. His style and technique could not be compared with anyone.
His flawless and fascinating style, graceful and original, yet not divorced from traditional roots, gained him numerous fans. He has composed several ‘kritis’, ’tillanas’ and ‘varnams’ and dance compositions, which are a blend of raga, bhava, rhythm and lyrical beauty. He has accompanied the maestros such as Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, G. N. Balasubramaniam, Madurai Mani Iyer, K.V.Narayanaswamy, Maharajapuram Santhanam, D. K. Jayaraman, M.Balamuralikrishna, T. V. Sankaranarayanan, T. N. Seshagopalan and flute maestros like N. Ramani.
Jayaraman was awarded with several titles, such as ‘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 and in 1972; State Vidwan of Tamil Nadu by the Government of Tamil Nadu and Sangeetha Natak Academy award in 1979 etc. He also received honorary citizenship of Maryland, U.S. in 1994 and the Padma Bhushan in 2001. He won the National Film Award for Best Music Direction for the film Sringaram in 2006. The Chief Minister of Karnataka had honoured him with the First Chowdaiah Memorial National-Level award.