Among the many accolades and awards Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi has earned in her journey as a musician, there is one she holds close to her heart – a compliment from Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar, who was the guest of honour at her performance at the Indian Fine Arts Academy of San Diego, United States, in 2015. Following her performance, Panditji offered his blessings, took her hands into his own, and said “You have your father’s fingers. Your music has touched my soul.”
Soulful is an apt word to describe the music of Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi, a fifth generation musician of the illustrious Lalgudi bani, and an artiste who wears many hats. A violinist par excellence and a vocalist of repute, her performing career is as versatile and varied as her talent; a solo artiste, alter ego and violin duo partner of her brother Lalgudi GJR Krishnan, himself a virtuoso with absolute mastery over his music. The duo has travelled all over the world participating in various prestigious music festivals.
Vijayalakshmi also provides violin accompaniment to other well-known vocalists and musicians –Aruna Sairam, Sudha Raghunathan, T. V. Gopalakrishnan, O. S. Thiagarajan, Vijay Siva and Chitravina Ravikiran, Malladi Brothers, Abhishek Raghuram to name a few – complementing their music and enhancing the overall musical experience with her sensitive accompaniment.
Daughter and disciple of the legendary maestro Padma Bhushan Sri Lalgudi G Jayaraman, Vijayalakshmi’s foray into the world of music was but natural. Born into a household steeped in music and growing up with music as her constant companion, Vijayalakshmi gravitated towards music, showing promise and potential even as a toddler. When she turned five, her father, a guru par excellence, initiated her into the world of the violin, allowing her to discover a world of music that he had so inimitably made his own. At thirteen, she made her formal stage debut. As she stepped out of her teens, Vijayalakshmi unfurled into the world an artiste who could perform solo, collaborate and share stage space with the menfolk in her home. Quiet and dignified, her music sparkled with a style and character of its own – rooted and resilient, free-flowing and flexible, a graceful blend of emotions and empathy in abundance.
In 1990, a 30-city tour around North America set off her soulful journey as a performing artiste, with a slew of trios, duets and solos. She hasn’t looked back since. Vijayalakshmi is today regarded as a torchbearer of the Lalgudi bani, taking tradition forward, without in the least compromising its core.
Over the years, Vijayalakshmi has travelled far and wide with her violin and voice, allowing people across the world – USA, Canada, the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia Middle East, and Russia – to soak in the magic of her music.
Vijayalakshmi’s vocal performances are perhaps the most authentic vocal representation of the Lalgudi bani. She has released a host of albums as a vocalist. She has sung in the movie ‘Sringaram’, for which her legendary father scored music.
Her music has won her awards and accolades aplenty – Yuva Kala Bharathi from Bharat Kalachar, Chennai; Sangeetha Kalasagara from Kalasagaram, Hyderabad; Sangeetha Choodamani from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai; Tantri Nada Mani from his Holiness Swami Jayendra Saraswathi of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, Kanchipuram; Award for Excellence from Maharajapuram Santhanam Foundation, Chennai; Best Accompanist Award from The Music Academy, Chennai; Kalki Krishnamoorthy Memorial Award