, aka MSG
, (b.10 June 1931, Mylapore
, India,) is a violinist in the field of Carnatic music
. He has been a recipient of the Padma Sri
, Sangeetha Kalanidhi
and 1997 Sangeet Natak Akademi
awards, and is commonly grouped with Lalgudi Jayaraman
as part of the violin-trinity of carnatic music.
Life and career
Gopalakrishnan was taught violin by his father, the late Professor Parur Sundaram Iyer
, who was well-versed in North Indian
) and South Indian
(Carnatic) systems of Indian classical music
. He learnt both systems from his father, with whom he gave his first performance at 8 years old.
He has played the violin for over fifty years as a soloist
, having accompanied Omkarnath Thakur
and D. V. Paluskar
, and has toured Australia, the USA, the UK, the Netherlands, South Africa, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.
His daughter, Dr M. Narmadha
, is also a violinist.
Gopalakrishnan has researched playing technique, and has developed the 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"
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