Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ilaiyaraaja was born in a poor rural family in Pannaiapuram near Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Although he did not have any formal education, he completed a course in classical guitar (higher local) with a gold medal at the Trinity College of Music in London.
Ilaiyaraaja has composed for more than 750 films. His first movie, Annakilli, was instrumental in bringing about a fusion of Tamil folk music and Tamil film music.
He won the national Best Film Music Composer award three times for Saagara Sangamam (1984), Sindhu Bhairavi (1986) and Rudra Veena (1988). He is the first Asian to compose a full symphony for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO). His music is mainly associated with the '80s, the decade during which he was most prolific. After his symphony he was came to be called by the name Maestro Ilaiyaraaja. Kalaignar M.Karunanidhi christened him Isai Gnani (translates to Musical Genius).
Besides scoring music for Tamil and other Indian films, Ilaiyaraaja has written two fusion albums, blending western classical with Carnatic raagas. The first, How To Name It? , was dedicated to Carnatic composer Tyagaraja and Johann Sebastian Bach. The title of the second, Nothing But Wind , suggests that music is a natural phenomenon akin to wind. Ilaiyaraaja has also composed a set of Classical Carnatic numbers which U.Shrinivas has played. Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, one of the doyens of Carnatic Music acknowledged and appreciated this album for the appropriate selection of Ragas and Sahityams.
While he has developed associations with Carnatic musicians like Mangalampalli BalaMuraliKrishna and T.V. Gopalakrishnan , he has also come in for some flak from conservative Carnatic music fans for retuning some of Tyagaraja's compositions. He invented a raga by name Panchamukhi which is looked at by some of the Carnatic Purists as faux and by the general crowd as an Achievement.
He is currently working on a Oratorio, based on the Tamil religious classic - Thiruvasakam .
Ilaiyaraaja's birth name is Gnanadesikan and in school records Rasaiya. His family suffered from poverty after his father Ramasamy died prematurely. His brother Ganghei Amaran (by birth Amarsingh) is also a composer and a song writer.
Ilaiyaraaja is married to Jeeva and the couple have 3 children. They're two sons Karthik Raja and Yuvan Shankar Raja are both composers, and their daughter Bhavatharini is a singer and composer.
Ilaiyaraaja also loves writing poetry and has written the lyrics for some songs in not only Tamil but also in Hindi! He also loves Photography. Ilaiyaraaja is a spiritual person and has also composed several Devotional songs on Ramana Maharishi .
His Successful Albums
- 16 Vayathinilae
- Agni Natchatram
- Alaigal Oivathillai
- Chinna Thambi
- Mouna Ragam
- Nineivellam Nithya
- Kadolara Kavithaikal
- Mella Thiranthathu Kathavu
- Mundram Pirai
- Mudhal Mariyathai
- Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal
- Punnagai Mannan
- Sigappu Rojakkal
- Udhaya Geetham
- Website for Official Updates of Thiruvasakam by Ilaiyaraja
- Official website
- Maestro Ilaiyaraaja Fans Club
- IMDb entry
- Listen to Ilayaraja's music - Online play station
- Maestro Ilaiyaraaja Films & Songs database, Articles and Links
- Maestro Ilaiyaraja's Online Radio Station
- Thiruvasakam by Ilaiyaraaja USA
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