In the context of classical violinists in India, Lalgudi G.J.R. Krishnan and Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi occupy pride of place. They are the torchbearers of the venerable Lalgudi tradition – pioneered and nurtured by their father and guru, Padma Bhushan Lalgudi G. Jayaraman. 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. Though rooted firmly and proudly in the Lalgudi bani, Krishnan and Vijayalakshmi have each created their own individual styles which complement one another. The duo’s music is an interesting study in contrasts. Together, their music is classical, but refreshingly contemporary; its form and feel are minimalist, but at its core, it is intricately complex and layered. Their instrumental mastery combined with musical acumen and creativity have made them immensely popular and won them a unique place in Carnatic music.
Making their debut just as they each stepped into their teens, and having played together and individually now for nearly four decades, Krishnan and Vijayalakshmi are among the most versatile and accomplished artistes. 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 are undoubtedly the most soulful ambassadors of the Lalgudi legacy.
Some of the international centers, where the duo has performed are Lincoln Center, New York, USA, Smithsonian, Washington DC, USA, The Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Darbar Festival, Barbican Center, London, United Kingdom, Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival, USA.
Together, the duo has composed music for dance productions like Veda Bharathi, and Sambhavami Yuge Yuge, besides several individual such endeavours.
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. In 2017, Krishnan and Vijayalakshmi jointly received the prestigious Indira Sivasailam Endowment Award – they were the first instrumentalists to receive this award. The duo was honoured with the National Eminence award by Shanmukhananda Sabha, Mumbai in 2020.