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M S Gopalakrishnan

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M. Gopalakrishnan


January 3, 2013, Chennai

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M.S. Gopalakrishnan, a.k.a. MSG, (10 June 1931 – 3 January 2013) was a violinist in the field of Carnatic music. He was awarded the Madras Music Academy's Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 1997. He was a recipient of the Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, Kalaimamani, Sangeetha Kalanidhi and Sangeet Natak Akademi awards, and is commonly grouped with Lalgudi Jayaraman and T.N.Krishnan as part of the violin-trinity of Carnatic Music.


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Life and career

M. S. Gopalakrishnan Legendary violinist MS Gopalakrishnan passes away at 82

Gopalakrishnan was born in Mylapore, Chennai, India, and was taught violin by his father, Parur Sundaram Iyer, who was well versed in both Carnatic and Hindustani systems of Indian classical music. He learnt both systems from his father, with whom he gave his first performance when he was 8 years old. He also drew great inspiration from the legendary violinist Sri Dwaram Venkatswamy Naidu.

M. S. Gopalakrishnan Violinist MS Gopalakrishnan is no more Carnatic Music

He has played the violin for over fifty years as a soloist and accompanist, having accompanied Omkarnath Thakur and D. V. Paluskar, and has toured Australia, the US, the UK, the Netherlands, South Africa, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.

M. S. Gopalakrishnan Manavi Alakinchara by Violin Maestro Sri MS Gopalakrishnan

His daughter, Dr M. Narmadha, is also a violinist.


M. S. Gopalakrishnan Ananthapuri Charmed In The Symphony Of Strings

Gopalakrishnan died in Chennai, India, at 2 am on January 3, 2013, at the age of 81. He was survived by his wife Meenakshi, his daughters M. Narmadha and Latha, and son Suresh.


Gopalakrishnan had researched playing technique, and developed particular fingering and bowing disciplines of the "Parur style" to produce a clarity of sound and speed of delivery. His style includes one-finger playing and a thematic development on single-string octaves.

Violinist Yehudi Menuhin said of a Gopalakrishnan's playing: "I have not heard such violin in all my travels! How superbly this young Indian is playing our instrument". Shri Gopalakrishnan said when he was receiving his Sangita Kalanidhi award from the Music Academy of Madras "My practice is the only secret of my success and then the other secret is my father. The practice what I was used to was nearly 15-16 hours a day and that was a very tough one where I used to jump suddenly from Carnatic to Hindustani styles while playing. Anything, any award I receive is just the fruit of my practice".


Year Title

  • 1960 Violin Vadhya Samrat — Bombay Sivananda Ashram, India.
  • 1975 Padmashri - Government of India
  • 1976 Violin Vadhya Chakravarthy — NewYork, U.S.A.
  • 1978 Kalaimamani - Govt. of Tamil Nadu, India.
  • 1979 Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy Award, India.
  • 1980 T.Chowdiah award — Karnataka, India.
  • 1982 Central Sangeetha Nataka Academy award, India.
  • 1997 Sapathagiri Sangeetha Vidwanmani — Thirupathi Devasthanam, India.
  • 1998 Sangeetha Kalanidhi - Madras Music Academy, Chennai, India.
  • 2012 Padma Bhushan - Government of India
  • 2012 Sangeetha Kalasikhamani - The Indian Fine Arts Society, Chennai.
  • References

    M. S. Gopalakrishnan Wikipedia