Lalgudi G.Jayaraman

Lalgudi G.Jayaraman, artiste par excellence, stepped into the threshold of the eight decade of his illustrious existence on September 17. It is matter of pride and a privileage to take this opportunity through these colums to reflect on the respect and appreciation that he has received from on eand lal for his significant contribution to Carnatic Music. It is no exaggeration that the firmament of South Indian Music has been considerably enriched by Lalgudi Jayrama in more ways that one, for he is artist whose amazing vision has stirred the “Sagara” of Carnatic Music to introduce wider meaningful, dimension that have come to stay. Many small towns in the South such as Ariyakudi, Maharajapuram, Chembai, Semmangudi, Musiri and other have become synonymous with those of great vidwans.

The village of Lalgudi is not only identified with the Maestro but also with the violin. Jayaraman has engraved his name firmly in the spheres of performing, composing, teaching, conducting and organizing. His educative, entertaining lecture demonstrations studded with wit and pithy humour have been warmly welcomed by discerning rasikas. They have served as beacon lights not only to youthful aspirants but also to senior musicians.

His meteoric climb to the portals of greatness was largely due to his razor sharp mind, and most important an iron resolve and ceaseless perseverance throughout the long years to achieve exalted standards of excellence. His staple diet from a tender age was music and the Spartan grooming that he received from his Guru and father Lalgudi Gopala Iyer during his novitiate has made him what he is today.

Even during the early days of his career, he had the capacity to appreciate the positive aspects in the art of great masters and merge them with his own artistic skills. An inherent, creative talent, a brain that had a computer-like storage capacity and the daring to coolly pick up all the gauntlets thrown by the main performer in the public concert, were the firm stepping stones for his having reached stratospheric levels of musicianship. In the words of George Moore, an artiste is either before his time or behind it – Lalgudi most certainly belongs to the first category. Some of his varnams and thillanas composed nearly 40 years ago bear ample testament to his rare musical sagacity in the sense that they have captured the imagination of both performers and the public and have grown increasingly popular with the passage of time.

Having been closely associated with all time greats like Mudicondan Venkatarama Iyer, Musiri, Ariyakudi, Semmangudi, Madurai Mani Iyer, G.N.Balasubramaniam, Alathoor brothers and others, he leaves and indelible stamp as an accompanist with brilliant artistic acumen, shrewdly anticipating the musical thoughts of the center stage performer, yet keeping in control the temptation to steal a march over him and that is what concert ethics are all about.

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