Shree M.S.Gopalakrishnan- Biography -

M.S. Gopalakrishnan (popularly known as MSG) was born on 10th June 1931. MSG learnt from his father, late Professor Parur Sundaram Iyer, the famous violinist who was an authority on the two systems of Indian Classical Music i.e. North Indian (Hindustani) and South Indian (Carnatic) systems. MSG learnt both systems from his father and gave his first performance along with his father at age of eight . A top ranking violinist, outstanding soloist and accompanist, MSG has been in the music arena for over fifty years playing both Hindustani and Carnatic Music. MSG has done vast research on violin playing techniques. He has developed a new unique style called the "Parur style". He is a versatile violin artiste famous for playing melodies, speed, special fingering technique, and bowing technique. His violin tonal quality will be clear, and audience can clearly hear the swarams thus making it more melodious. He has won numerous awards including the Padma Sri, Kalaimamani, Sangeetha Kalanidhi and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award.

M.S.Gopalakrishnan is a legendary artiste who extends the frontiers of his acumen and acclaim beyond the confines of Carnatic to wider acceptance by audiences all over the country and won international recognition for themselves. As for M.S.Gopalakrishnan, he gave early evidence of making his bow as a violinist and thus had the benefit of expert guidance from his father who was the Professor of Music at the University of Bombay. This in itself proved a providential circumstance as it helped to build a bridge of understanding between Carnatic and Hindustani sangeet paddhatis during his impressionable years from six to sixteen.

When young M.S.Gopalakrishnan blazed upon the musical horizon like a meteor, his brilliance dazzled even maestros of Hindustani music like Pt Onkarnath Thakur and Pt Paluskar who readily accepted the young virtuoso as an accompanist. With a baptism such as this, M.S.G has never looked back. With the crystal-clear tonal purity of his Carnatic lineage and the emotional impact of the 'Shruti-Bhaav' insight of the Hindustani gayaki mode, he has evolved a unique style of his own which imparts more depth and dimension to ragas than hitherto expressed through instrumental music. Through relentless researches and riyaaz M.S.G has innovated newer techniques on his violin such as one-finger playing, thematic development on single-string octaves to make his violin a more expressive medium.

With artistry such as this at his fingertips, no less a violin virtuoso than the internationally acclaimed Yehudi Menuhin exclaimed, 'I have not heard such violin in all my travels!'. How superbly this young Indian is playing our instrument'. Coming from Yehudi Menuhin, this should be construed as the highest compliment. Whether he is playing a 'Kriti' of Shree Thyagaraja for the rasikas of Carnatic music or a Masitkhani gat for lovers of Hindustani music, M.S.Gopalakrishnan and his audiences share a rapport which is the key of his popularity the world over. Recently he astounded an audience in Holland by playing a small piece of Beethoven. To an artiste of such boundless genius, all the world is a stage - and the sky is not the limit. Once Yehudi Menuhin heard M.S.G play the Kalyani ata varnam using only one string with so much fervour and impressed by it, mentioned everywhere about "a man who played in the G string '(with one finger)', whose name also starts with the letter G".

M.S.Gopalakrishnan has toured all over the world including countries like USA, UK, Holland, South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia, and Hongkong. North American Indian cultural organisations should well consider inviting M.S.Gopalakrishnan for a concert tour in the near future which will benefit rasikas in North America.

Narmada, daughter of M.S.G, has a Phd in music from Delhi University. Her doctoral thesis was aptly a comparison on North & South Indian music styles. Apart from her duet concerts with her father, she is sought after accompanist to many leading Carnatic vocalists. She had her training from her grandfather Parur A. Sundaram Iyer and continues with her training form her father. She has toured all over the world including countries like USA, UK, Holland, South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia, and Hongkong. She has been awarded the ?Best Violinist? award by the Music Academy, Madras consecutively eight times.

She had won her doctoral degree from Delhi University as a U. G. C. fellow under able guidance from Sitar Vituoso Prof. Renu Chauwdhari and Dr. K. G. Ginde, renowned musicologist. She had command over and flair for a number of language like English, Sanskrit and French. Her articles on ?Music? have been widely published in journals from all over the world. She is also giving vocal concerts being trained by her mother and Shri. T. M. Tyagarajan. Her aim is to propagate the Parur-MSG style in Violin playing all over the world.

Home | Awards | Pictures | Concert Reviews