Ilayaraaja born June 2, 1943 is an Indian film composer. He has composed over 5000 songs and provided background music for more than 840 Indian films in various languages in a career spanning more than 30 years. He has won the Indian National Film Awards for best music composition thrice. He had completed a course in classical guitar (higher local) with the Trinity College of Music in London. Career and music: Ilaiyaraja was born in a rural family in Pannaipuram near Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India...
Ilayaraaja born June 2, 1943 is an Indian film composer. He has composed over 5000 songs and provided background music for more than 840 Indian films in various languages in a career spanning more than 30 years. He has won the Indian National Film Awards for best music composition thrice. He had completed a course in classical guitar (higher local) with the Trinity College of Music in London.
Career and music:
Ilaiyaraja was born in a rural family in Pannaipuram near Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India. His career in music composition was launched in 1976 when he began composing film music scores in the South Indian film industry. His earliest work for the movie Annakkili earned him recognition for its successful fusion of Tamil folk music and popular Tamil film music.
Ilaiyaraja is renowned for his orchestration technique, characterised by an effective synthesis of Western and Indian instruments and musical modes. The popular appeal of Ilaiyaraja's music also lies in his flair for catchy melodies. His songs, many of which demand considerable vocal virtuosity, have found expressive platform amongst some of India's respected vocalists and playback singers, such as K.J. Yesudas, S.P. Balasubramaniam, S. Janaki , P. Susheela, K. S. Chitra, Asha Bhosle and Lata Mangeshkar. Ilaiyaraja is equally famed for his evocative background music for films.
Besides scoring music for Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and other Indian-language films, Ilaiyaraja has composed two fusion music albums, blending Western classical music with Carnatic ragas. The first, How To Name It?, is dedicated to the Carnatic master Tyagaraja and to Johann Sebastian Bach. The second, Nothing But Wind, suggests in its title that music is but a natural phenomenon akin to the wind, and the album's music takes this conceptual approach. Ilaiyaraja has also composed a set of classical Carnatic pieces which were performed by the electric mandolin player U. Srinivas. This album was praised by one of the doyens of Carnatic music, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, for its the appropriate selection and employment of complex ragas and sahityams. He has worked with eminent Carnatic musicians like Mangalampalli Balamurali Krishna and T.V. Gopalakrishnan. He is the inventor of a raga called Panchamukhi, considered by some Carnatic purists as faux and by the general crowd as an achievement. He has composed several devotional songs inspired by the Hindu mystic Ramana Maharishi. Ilaiyaraja has also written song lyrics in both the Tamil and Hindi languages.
His composition Rakkama Kaiya Thattu from the movie Thalapathi was amongst the songs listed in a BBC World Top Ten music poll . He also composed the music for Nayakan (1987), an Indian film ranked by TIME magazine as one of the all-time 100 best movies . He composed the theme music for the Miss World 1996 Pageantry that was held in Bangalore. He is the first Asian to have composed a full symphony for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO). Among his most recent works are his film score for the comedy Mumbai Xpress (2005) starring Kamal Haasan, and his Thiruvasagam in Symphony, an oratorio of ancient poems performed by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, conducted by László Kovacs.
Ilaiyaraja rarely performs live. However, he did so for the first time in 25 years on a grand scale on 16 October 2005, at the Nehru Indoor Stadium, Chennai, for a largely Tamil-speaking audience . The show was telecasted widely on television locally and abroad. Previously, he had performed live in Italy in a music festival .
Awards and nominations
Ilaiyaraja has won the following awards:
National Film Awards (India)
1984 - National Film Award for Best Music Direction - Saagara Sangamam
1986 - National Film Award for Best Music Direction - Sindhu Bhairavi
1989 - National Film Award for Best Music Direction - Rudra Veena
WorldFest Houston (USA)
2005 - Won - Gold Remi Award - Best Music Score - Vishwa Thulasi
The Kalaimamani Award, an annual award for excellence in the field of arts. Presented by the Government of the State of Tamil Nadu, India.
Award of Government of the State of Andhra Pradesh, India, for excellence in music.
Conferred the title Isaignani (genius of music) in the year 1988, at Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu, India.
Conferred the Degree of Doctor of Letter (Honoris causa) in March, 1994, by the Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu, India.
Conferred the Cultural Doctorate in Philosophy of Music, in April, 1994, by the World University Round Table, Arizona, U.S.A.
Award of Appreciation, in 1994, from the Foundation and Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America.
Bestowed with an honorary citizenship and presented with the key to the Teanech township, by Mr. John Abraham, Mayor of the township of Teanech, New Jersey, U.S.A., in June, 1994.
Presented with the Award of Government of the State of Kerala, India, in 1995 for excellence in music.
Conferred the Degree of Doctor of Letters, in 1996, by the Madurai Kamarajar University, Tamil Nadu, India.
The Lata Mangeshkar Award For Excellence in Music, conferred by the Government of Madhya Pradesh, India in 1998.
Some of his successful Tamil film albums
16 Vayathinile (contains National Award-winning song Sendhoora Poove, sung by S. Janaki)
Agni Natchathiram (directed by Mani Ratnam)
Alaigal Oivathillai (directed by Bharathiraja)
Anjali (500th film, directed by Mani Ratnam)
Annakili (Ilayaraaja's debut)
Azhagi (contains National Award winning-song Paattu Solli Pada Solli, sung by Sadhana Sargam)
Bharathi (contains National Award-winning song Mayil Pola, sung by Bhavatharini Ilaiyaraja)
Thalapathi (a Mani Ratnam film)
Thevar Magan (600th film - contains National Award-winning song Inji Idupazhaga, sung by S. Janaki and Kamal Hassan)
Enga Ooru Paatukaran (contains the popular song Shenbagamae, sung by Asha Bhosle)
Gitanjali (a Telugu movie by Mani Ratnam, whose Tamil version is entitled Idhayathai Thirudathae)
Guna (contains the popular song Kanmani Anbodu, a duet by Kamal Hassan and S. Janaki)
Hey Ram (contains Aparna's Theme (or Nee Partha) and Janmon Ki Jwala, sung by Asha Bhosle)
Mella Thiranthathu Kathavu (co-scored with M.S. Vishwanathan)
Moondram Pirai (the Award-winning film by Balu Mahendra)
Mouna Ragam (a Mani Ratnam film)
Mudhal Mariyathai (contains the National Award-winning song Poongkatru Thirumbuma, the lyrics of which was penned by Vairamuthu)
Nayakan (400th film -- directed by Mani Ratnam)
Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal
Salangai Oli (the Tamil version of Saagara Sangamam; contains the National Award-winning song Thagida Thathimi, sung by S.P. Balasubramaniam)
Sindhu Bhairavi (a film by K. Balachander; awarded the National Award for best musical direction)
Note: For a more extensive list, go to [].
Selected Malayalam hits
Sandhyakku Virinja Poovu (1983)
Pin Nilavu (1983)
Aa Rathri (1983)
Onnanu Nammal (1984)
My Dear Kuttichathan (1984)
Poomukhapadiyil Ninneyum Kathu (1986)
Ente Sooryaputhikku (1991)
Pappayude Swantham Appoos (1992)
Oru Yathramozhi (1997)
Man of the Match(1997)
Moonnam Pakkam (1988)
Kochu Kochu Santhoshangal (2000)
Achuvinte Amma (2005)
How To Name It?
Nothing But the Wind (flute played by Hariprasad Chaurasia)
India 24 Hours
A symphonic suite in five movements with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) of London. Conducted by John Scott. Recorded in 1993. Yet to be released.
Nammura Mandara Hoove in Kannada
Prema Raaga Haadu Gelathi in Kannada
Sangeetha Kanavugal (Musical Dreams - about his European tour)
Vettaveli thanil kotti kidakkuthu (Poems)
Paal Nila Paathai
Unmaikku Thirai Yethu?
Yaarukku Yaar Ezhuthuvathu?
En Narambu Veenai
The official Internet website for Ilaiyaraaja
A profile of Ilaiyaraja
Ilaiyarajaa at the Internet Movie Database
Reviews of Ilaiyaraaja's music
An online Ilaiyaraja fan club
Another Ilaiyaraja fan website
Listen to Ilayaraja's music - Online play station
An Ilaiyaraja films & songs database, and other information
An online radio station which plays Ilaiyaraja tunes
Thiruvasakam by Ilaiyaraja
Classical (Carnatic) Music Used by shri.ilaiyaraja
Disscussion about Ilaiyaraja and his Music
Website for official updates of Thiruvasakam by Ilaiyaraja
Great hits of Ilayaraaja
'Raaja Hits' Radio Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.