Ilaiyaraaja is an Indian film composer who works in the South Indian cinema, predominantly in Tamil since the mid 1970s. Widely regarded as one of the greatest Indian music composers of all time, Ilaiyaraaja is also an instrumentalist, conductor singer, and songwriter. He has composed more than 6500 songs and provided film scores for more than 1000 films, also being acclaimed for his exceptional background scores.He integrated folk in Tamil and introduced western musical sensibilities into the South Indian musical mainstream. He is also known for creating music by fusing symphonic orchestration with traditional Indian instrumentation, often performed by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra. In 1993, he organised a full symphony performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London and thus became the First Indian to compose a full symphony,with Ravi Shankar being the only other Indian to do so. He is also the first Asian to compose a full symphony performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He has won five Indian National Film Awards (the highest film honor in India); three for Best Music Direction and two for Best Background Score. In 2010 he has received the Padma Bhushan, awarded by the Government of India.
Ilaiyaraja is a gold medalist in classical guitar from Trinity College of Music,London. He was also nominated in the Best Indian album Music Awards category at US based Just Plain Folks Music Organization, which is the largest grassroots music organization in the world, and stood third for his "Music Journey: Live in Italy".In 2012, he received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his creative and experimental works in the music field.Popular world cinema portal "Taste of Cinema" placed Ilaiyaraja at the 9th position in its list of 25 greatest film composers in cinema history, thus becoming the only Indian to feature in that list.Ilaiyaraaja was voted as the greatest music composer of India with a maximum of 49%.
Born on: 2 June, 1943
Born in: Pannaipuram, Theni, Madras Presidency