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 a befitting word to describe the music of Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi, a fifth generation musician of the illustrious Lalgudi bani, an artiste in her own right and one 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, 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 – Smt. Aruna Sairam, Smt. Sudha Raghunathan, Sri T. V. Gopalakrishnan, Sri O. S. Thiagarajan, Sri Vijay Siva and Sri Chitravina Ravikiran, Malladi Brothers, to name a few – complementing their potential and enhancing the overall musical experience with her masterly accompaniment.
Daughter and disciple of 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 it as her constant companion,Vijayalakshmi gravitated towards music, showing both promise and potential even as a toddler. When she turned five, her father, a guru par excellence, became her teacher, initiating her into the world of the violin and allowing her to discover the world of music that he had so inimitably made his own. At thirteen, she made her formal stage debut. Slowly but steadily, one performance after another lead to her blooming as a performance artiste. As she stepped out of her teens, Vijayalakshmi came into her own, unfurling to 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 coming together of emotions with an abundance of empathy.
In the mid ‘80s, a 30-city tour around North America set off her soulful journey as a performing artiste. There has been no looking back since. With a slew of performances – solos, trios and duets – under her belt, Vijayalakshmi, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a Diploma in Music, is counted as a torchbearer of the Lalgudibani, taking tradition forward without ever compromising its core.
Over the years, Vijayalakshmi has travelled far and wide with her violin and her 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 this music.
Vijayalakshmi’s vocal performances are perhaps the most authentic vocal representation of the Lalgudibani. She has released a host of vocal albums as a vocalist. She has sung in the movie ‘Sringaram’ to which her legendary father scored music.
Her music has won her awards and accolades aplenty – Yuva Kala Bharathifrom Bharat Kalachar, Chennai; Sangeetha Kalasagara from Kalasagaram, Hyderabad; Sangeetha Choodamani from Sri Krishna GanaSabha, Chennai; Tantri Nada Mani from his Holiness