L. Subramaniam

L. Subramaniam

born on 23/7/1947 in Chennai (Madras), Tamil Nadu, India

L. Subramaniam

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
L. Subramaniam

Dr. Lakshminarayana Subramaniam (born on 23 July 1947) is an acclaimed Indian violinist, composer and conductor, trained in the classical Carnatic music tradition and Western classical music, and renowned for his virtuoso playing techniques and compositions in orchestral fusion.

Early years

Subramaniam was born to Hindu Brahmin V Lakshminarayana, and Seethalakshmi, both accomplished musicians.

He lived in Jaffna during his younger years, taking up music studies before the age of five.[1] He began training in violin under the tutelage of his father, Professor V. Lakshminarayana. Mani, as he is fondly known by fellow musicians and his family, gave his first public performance at the age of six.

His brothers are also acclaimed musicians, and include the well-known violinist-composers L. Shankar (alias. Shenkar), and the late L. Vaidyanathan. He has released recordings with both.

Subramaniam developed a passion for music as well as science from a young age, studying Medicine and acquiring his M.B.B.S. at Madras Medical College. He registered as a General Practitioner, before deciding to pursue music full-time.[1] He has a Masters degree in Western classical music, which he acquired at the California Institute of the Arts.[1]

Performing career

Since 1973, Subramaniam has amassed over 200 recordings to his credit, releasing several historic solo albums, recording collaborations with musicians Yehudi Menuhin, Stéphane Grappelli, Ruggiero Ricci and Jean-Pierre Rampal, further to making albums and performing with Ruggiero Ricci, Herbie Hancock, Joe Sample, Jean-Luc Ponty, Stanley Clarke John Handy, George Harrison [2] and several others.[3]

He has accompanied highly regarded vocalists in Carnatic music on stage including Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar, K. V. Narayaswamy, Dr. Pinakapani, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, M. Balamuralikrishna and M. D. Ramanathan. He has also performed many concerts with the venerable Palghat Mani Iyer on the Mridangam, in addition to collaborating with musicians of North Indian Hindustani music and artists of other music systems.[3]

Subramaniam has written works for orchestras, ballets and Hollywood film scores, and written books on music - such as Euphony - in addition to composing symphonies and Carnatic pieces.[3][4]

In 1983, he composed a Double Concerto for violin and flute which combined western scales with micro intervals. Another release, Spring Rhapsody, was a homage to Bach and Baroque music. Creations with orchestras that have followed include Fantasy on Vedic Chants with the New York Philharmonic, conducted by Zubin Mehta, Turbulence with The Swiss Romande Orchestra, The Concert of Two Violins with the Oslo Philharmonic, and Global Symphony with the Berlin State Opera (broadcast live to 28 nations) among others.[4] He has also performed a concert tour of China, with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra in Beijing.

His compositions have been used in stage presentations of leading dance companies such as the San Jose Ballet company and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Subramaniam composed the piece Shanti Priya for the Mariinsky Ballet.

The release of his albums, including Global Fusion in 1999 have brought Subramaniam widespread critical acclaim, and popularity for his advanced playing. He founded and directs the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival, a festival based in India. In 2004, he completed a world tour with the festival, including concerts in the US (Lincoln Center, New York), the Asian Pacific region including in Perth, Australia, at the Esplanade, Singapore, the Sri Dewan Penang Hall in Penang and the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Performing with Subramaniam at the festival in January 2005 were violin maestro Arve Tellefsen, the Oslo Camerata, jazz legends Stanley Clarke, George Duke, Al Jarreau, Earl Klugh and Ravi Coltrane.

In September 2007, Subramaniam premiered and played The Freedom Symphony with the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, Warrenton Chorale and Carnatic percussionists, which led to a strongly favourable ovation and an encore piece Flight of the Humble Bee. Subramaniam is on the advisory board of composer A. R. Rahman's KM Music Conservatory in Kodambakkam, Chennai.

In 2011, he was invited to perform at the United Nations.[5]

On 24 October 2012, he performed as a Special Guest Artist with Stevie Wonder at the latter's message of peace concert at the UN.[6]

The renowned violinist Yehudi Menuhin said of Subramaniam:

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.[3]

Film career

He composed the film scores for the films Salaam Bombay (1988) and Mississippi Masala (1991) directed by Mira Nair, in addition to being the featured violin soloist in Bernardo Bertolucci's Little Buddha (1993) and Cotton Mary (1999) of Merchant-Ivory productions.[3]

Awards and recognition

  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Limca Book of Records (2012)
  • GiMA (Best Carnatic Instrumental Album Innovations), Global Indian Music Academy (2012)
  • Uttam Vag Geykar Jialal Vasant Award, Ajivasan (2011)
  • Big Star IMA Award (Best Classical Instrumental Album Violin Maestros), Indian Music Academy (2011)
  • GiMA (Best Carnatic Instrumental Album Violin Maestros), Global Indian Music Academy (2010)
  • GiMA (Best Fusion Album Live at Neues Gewandhaus, Leipzig), Global Indian Music Academy (2010)
  • Tantri Nada Mani, Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, Kanchipuram (2009)
  • Asthana Vidwan, ISKCON, Bangalore (2009)
  • Viswa Kala Bharathi Bharat Kalachar, Chennai (2004)
  • Sangeetha Kalaratna, Bangalore Gayana Samaja (2004)
  • Sangeetha Kalaa Shiromani, Percussive Arts Centre, Bangalore (2004)
  • Honorary Doctrate, Bangalore University (2003)
  • Padma Bhushan, Government of India(2001)
  • Manaviyam (Millennium) Award, Government of Kerala (2001)
  • Lotus Festival Award, City of Los Angeles (1998)
  • Special Medal of Honour, HH King Birendra of Nepal (1997)
  • Best Composer Award/Commission, NRK P2, Norway (1996)
  • Sangeeta Ratna Mysore, T. Chowdaiah Memorial National Award (1996)
  • Awarder at the World Music Festival at Madison Square Gardens, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, New York (1995)
  • Nada Chakravarthy, Sri Ganapathi Sachchidananda Swamiji, Trinidad (1993)
  • Onida Pinnacle Award (Best title track composer: Surabhi) (1993)
  • Creative Music Award, Sangeet Natak Akademi (1990)
  • Padma Shri, Government of India (1988)
  • Award for outstanding contribution to Indo-American goodwill, understanding and friendship, Indo-American Society (1988)
  • Sangeeta Sagaram, Cultural Centre of Performing Arts (1984)
  • Grammy Nomination (for the album Indian Classical Music) (1981)
  • Orpheus of the East Kala Samarpana, Alliance Francaise, Chennai (24/11/1972)
  • Violin Chakravarthy, Governor of Madras (6/11/1972)
  • Best Western Instrumentalist, IIT Madras (1972)
  • President's Award for Best Violinist, All India Radio (1963)[7]

Personal life

Subramaniam was married to Viji Subramaniam, who died on 9 February 1995 and since November 1999 has been married to the Indian playback singer Kavita Krishnamurthy.

He continues to perform pieces with his daughter singer/songriter Bindu Subramaniam,[8] violin duets with his son, Ambi Subramaniam,[9] and has further recorded and given several concerts with Krishnamoorthy. Their collaborations have earned them the nickname Subramaniam Gharana.[10]

His elder son Dr Narayana Subramaniam [11] is a gold medalist MBBS, surgery resident, and poet and performs light music [ghazals].

Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival

He started the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival in 1992, to honour the memory of his father Professor V. Lakshminarayana, who passed away in 1990.[2]

The festival has been held across 49 cities in 20 countries and five continents.[12]

Artists have included the Subramaniam family, Al Jarreau, George Duke, Solo Cissokho, Miya Masaoka, Mark O'Connor, Loyko, Jean-Luc Ponty, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Larry Coryell, Arve Tellefsen, Pandit Jasraj, Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna, Corky Siegel.[13][14]

The festival has centered around special concepts such as Violins for Peace,[13] Visions of India and Sounds of India.

Subramaniam Academy of Performing Arts

In 2007, the Subramaniam Foundation, a charity run by Subramaniam and his wife set up a music school called the Subramaniam Academy of Performing Arts (SAPA), in Bangalore, India. [15]


  • Garland (1978) (L. Subramaniam featuring Svend Asmussen)
  • Fantasy without Limits (1980)
  • The Virtuoso Violin Of South India: Subramaniam (1981 Licenced by MAI,Oslo,Norway/Lyrichord Disc Inc.)
  • Blossom (1981) With Herbie Hancock and Larry Coryell (Crusader/MCA Records)
  • Spanish Wave (1983 and 1991, Milestone Records)
  • The Irresistable Dr L. Subramanium (Oriental Records)
  • Indian Classcial Masters: Three Ragas for Solo Violin (1991 and 1992, Nimbus Records)
  • In praise of Ganesha (1992, Audiorec Classic)
  • Beyond (1993, New Earth Records)
  • Kalyani (1996, Water Lily Acoustics)
  • Raga Hemavathi (Nimbus Records)
  • Distant Visions
  • Pacific Rendezvous (1996, Manu)
  • Indian Express / Mani & Co. featuring Maynard Ferguson (1999, Milestone)
  • Global Fusion (1999, Warner/Erato Detour Records)
  • Electric Modes Volumes 1 & 2 (Water Lily Acoustics)

Collaborations with other artists

  • L. Subramaniam with Stéphane Grappelli: Conversations (1992, Milestone)
  • L. Subramaniam and Yehudi Menhuin: L. Subramaniam and Yehudi Menhuin in New York
  • L. Subramaniam and Larry Coryell: From the Ashes (1999, Water Lily Acoustics)
  • L. Subramaniam and Ali Akbar Khan: Duet (1996, Delos Records)
  • L. Subramaniam with Yehudi Menhuin and Stéphane Grappelli: All the Worlds Violins (1993)
  • Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival (Double CD) (Sony Music)
  • L. Subramaniam with Karsten Vogel : Meetings (2007, Calibrated)

Live albums

  • L. Subramaniam: Live in Moscow (1988 and 2000, BMG / Viji Records)
  • L. Subramaniam en Concert (1995, Ocora)
  • L. Subramaniam: Live in France
  • L. Subramaniam: Live in Geneva



  • Salaam Bombay! (1988) (composer, music arranger, musician: violinist)
  • Mississippi Masala (1991) (composer, musician: violin, violin synthesizers, percussions)


  • Little Buddha (1993) (violinist)
  • Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love (1996) (violinist)
  • Cotton Mary (1999) (violinist)

Additional soundtracks

  • Peace One Day (2004) (composer, performer: "Gypsy Trail")
  • Baraka (1992) (performer: "Wandering Saint")

On Subramaniam

  • L. Subramaniam: Violin From the Heart (1999). Directed by Jean Henri Meunier.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Artist: L. Subramaniam. Concord Music Group (March 1986). Retrieved on 1 December 2007.
  2. 2.0 2.1 http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/lakshminarayan-global-music-festival-with-l-subramaniam/Content?oid=899480
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 L. Subramaniam: Short Biography. Sampad (February 2005). Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved on 20 February 2007.
  4. 4.0 4.1 L. Subramaniam: Official Site. Official Site. Retrieved on 20 February 2007.
  5. <http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-10-27/music-events/34751814_1_l-subramaniam-bindu-subramaniam-lucknow-times>
  6. <http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-10-27/music-events/34751814_1_l-subramaniam-bindu-subramaniam-lucknow-times>
  7. L Subramaniam's Official Website. Retrieved on 5 December 2012.
  8. http://www.rediff.com/getahead/slide-show/slide-show-1-achievers-interview-with-bindu-subramaniam/20110512.htm
  9. http://www.mybangalore.com/article/0411/violinist-ambi-subramaniam-talks-about-music-and-more.html
  10. http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Repository/getFiles.asp?Style=OliveXLib:LowLevelEntityToPrintGif_MIRRORNEW&Type=text/html&Locale=english-skin-custom&Path=PMIR/2010/01/09&ChunkNum=0&ID=Ar03001
  11. http://photogallery.indiatimes.com/events/delhi/Narayana-Subramaniam-L-Subramaniam-Kavita-Krishnamurti-Subramaniam-Bindu-Subramaniam/articleshow/5447434.cms
  12. http://festivalsherpa.com/festival/lakshminarayana-global-music-festival/details
  13. 13.0 13.1 http://www.buzzintown.com/event-review--a-fusion-unique-violin-styles/id--2701.html
  14. http://www.rhythmhouse.in/Detail.aspx?productListing=103472
  15. www.sapaindia.com

External links

This page was last modified 07.05.2013 02:33:28

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