Lalgudi Rajalakshmi, the third of the Lalgudi siblings, is a respected violinist in the Carnatic music circles of Bengaluru. “Lalgudi Mami”, as she is fondly called, is an endearing personality, but an uncompromising teacher. I am fortunate to have been her disciple for the last seven years.
Mami who belongs to the formidable Lalgudi lineage, is the epitome of discipline and perfection. She learned to play the violin from her father Lalgudi Gopala Iyer and her brother Lalgudi G. Jayaraman, and started performing at the age of ten. She settled in Bangalore after her marriage in 1957 to Radhakrishnan; her late husband who was employed in the Indian air force. Over the years, Mami performed extensively as a soloist and accompanist. She has accompanied several artists across generations like M.L. Vasanthakumari, D.K. Pattammal, Bombay Sisters, Sudha Ragunathan, Aruna Sairam, Neyveli Santhanagopalan, Mandolin Shrinivas, and her own daughter Jayanthi Kumaresh, and grandson Abhishek Raghuram. She has also performed duets with her brother Jayaraman and sisters Srimathi Brahmanandam (violin) and Padmavathy Ananthagopalan (veena). During her long stint at All India Radio she brought out many musical productions, including women’s and children’s orchestras. Outside of India, my guru has performed and taught in Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, and the U.S.A. She has received many awards – ‘Swara Bhushani’ presented by Gayana Samaja, Bangalore, being the most recent.
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