Subramaniam, India's violin icon, "The Paganini of Indian Classical music", "the God of Indian Violin" is the serenity of an Indian musician combined with the magnetism of a western "star". Constantly propelled from Singapore to Paris, from Delhi to Los Angeles, he has conquered every audience with the elegance and virtuosity of his style.   His career as a childhood prodigy brought him into contact with the greatest musicians and he soon imposed himself as a master of the violin. At a very young age, he was honoured with the title "Violin Chakravarthy" (emperor of the violin). No other musician can boast of such diverse repertoire and collaborations, or even such mind-boggling techniques. Till date, Dr. Subramaniam has produced, performed, collaborated, conducted and released over 200 recordings.


Dr. L. Subramaniam is the only musician who has performed/recorded Karnatic Classical Music, Western Classical Music, both Orchestral and non-Orchestral, and also composed for and conducted major Orchestras, collaborated with a wide range of some of the greatest musicians, from different genres of music including jazz, occidental, jugalbandis with North Indian musicians, world music and global fusion. He has established himself as a force that is strongly Indian, but universal in nature and approach.


His insatiable musical curiosity made short shrift of all kinds of technique of all types of form (he has composed for several western classical orchestras and ballets) and of all new experiences (he was a musical advisor to Peter Brook about the sound concepts for his "Mahabharata"). He has composed music for a select few films, including "Salaam Bombay" and "Mississippi Masala" and was the featured soloist for Bernardo Bertolucci's "Little Buddha" and "Cotton Mary" of Merchant – Ivory Productions). His compositions have also been used in various stage presentations by leading ballet companies, including the Cleveland San Jose Ballet Company and the Alvin Ailey Company.This total receptivity towards the world, this polymorphous talent, this technical mastery all however find their truest experience in the service of Karnatic music, the tradition he has inherited from his Father and Guru, Professor V. Lakshminarayana.  No one else is as qualified as Dr. L. Subramaniam to experiment with new concepts and different ideas because of his stable foundation in Carnatic Classical, Western Music (he did his Master's degree  in Orchestral Composition), Orchestration and rhythm. He is the creator of the Global Music concept.

 

Attracted by his unusual musical phrasing, several western musicians wanted to play with him. He willingly lent himself to these exchanges, which represented for him a no-man's land, which allowed him to explore the field of improvisation.  Since 1973, Subramaniam has made historic collaborations and recordings with people like Yehudi Menuhin, Stephane Grappelli, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Steven Seagal, Ruggiero Ricci, Arve Tellefsen, Herbie Hancock, Joe Sample, Stanley Clarke, George Duke, Al Jarreau, Jean Luc Ponty, Earl Klugh, Larry Corryel, Corky Siegal , Tony Williams, Billy Cobham, John Surman and Maynard Ferguson.

 

Not only is he the most outstanding Indian Classical Violinist, but also an exceptional composer who has established himself as the foremost Indian composer in the realm of orchestral composition. In 1983, he crossed other frontiers, that of western classical tradition. "The Double Concerto for violin and flute" combines western scales and micro intervals. "Spring – Rhapsody" is a homage to Bach and Baroque music. Over the years he has written and created works for the worlds greatest orchestras The New York Philharmonic Orchestra and Zubin Mehta ("Fantasy on Vedic Chants"), the Swiss Romande Orchestra ("Turbulence"); The Kirov Ballet ("Shanti Priya") The Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra ("The Concerto for Two Violins"); The Berlin Opera (Global Symphony), the live concert of which was broadcast simultaneously over 28 nations for millions of people. His latest orchestral composition is entitled 'Astral Symphony' for full symphony orchestra and soloists from different musical traditions, once again emphasizing the concept of Global Fusion.  He has also performed with orchestras as diverse as the Beijing Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra Nationale du Lille, Sinfonica Baltica and the Leipzig Philharmonic Orchestra.


He has received several awards and honours, including the coveted Padma Bhushan and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for "The Most Creative Artist" from the President of India. He has been awarded the "Nada Chakravarti" (Emperor of Sound) from H.H Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swami-ji at Trinidad (West Indies). He was nominated for a Grammy in 1981. In recognition of his contribution to the World of Music, he has been conferred with Honorary Doctorate (D.Lit) by both Bangalore University and University of Madras and D.Mus by the University of Sheffield.  


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DR. L. SUBRAMANIAM

FACTS

“I find nothing more inspiring than the music making of my very great colleague Subramaniam. Each time I listen to him, I am carried away in wonderment”

said Lord Yehudi Menuhin.


“In the West, I have heard only one other music which is as meditative, serene, powerful and yet equally joyful – that of Johann Sebastian Bach”

says a leading critic of Subramaniam.

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