In the context of classical violinists in India, Lalgudi G.J.R. Krishnan and Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi, occupy pride of place. As torchbearers of the venerable Lalgudi tradition – pioneered and nurtured by their father and guru, Padma Bhushan Lalgudi G. Jayaraman, the duo’s music is an interesting study in contrasts. The brother and sister duo is the fifth generation in a family of musicians, whose first, Lalgudi Rama Iyer, was a direct disciple of Saint Thyagaraja. Together, their music is classical, but refreshingly contemporary; its form and feel are minimalist, but at its core, it is intricately complex and layered; in its experience, the music is a celebration of both the beauty of duality, and the appeal of individual identity.
This beauty, in the quality and rendition of music, stems from their disciplined learning, and the years they spent earnestly in making the music literally their own. Rooted very firmly, and proudly in the Lalgudi bani, that is a celebration of the gayaki ang, emphatic in its importance to the lyrical, melodic and the laya aspects of music, the duo’s mastery over form, content, and feel, is not merely owing to their shared and privileged lineage, but also because of their own nuanced understanding and appreciation of its varied aspects. Though together representing the Lalgudi Bani, both Krishnan and Vijayalakshmi have created their own styles, which complement one another. Their instrumental mastery combined with musical sensitivity has won them a unique place in the South Indian classical music.
Making their debut just as they stepped into their teens respectively, and having played together now for nearly four decades, Krishnan and Vijayalakshmi have also blossomed into noteworthy and versatile artistes in their own right. They are the recipients of several recognitions and prestigious awards. Top ranking artistes of the All India Radio, the duo has also been recognised and acknowledged for a slew of eclectic musical articulations and experiments in music.
Lalgudi Krishnan received the Sangeet Natak Academy award in the year 2016 from the President of India.
Together, the duo has also composed music for dance productions like Veda Bharathi, and Sambhavami Yuge Yuge, and also several individually.
Last year both Krishnan and Vijayalakshmi received the prestigious Indira Sivasailam Endowment Award and they were the first instrumentalists to receive this.
Their musical trysts have taken them to far corners of the globe, and with quiet dignity, allowing only their music to speak for themselves, the duo is undoubtedly the singular and among the most soulful ambassadors of the Lalgudi legacy.
International centers, where the Duo has performed: