“I find nothing more inspiring than the music making of my very great colleague Subramaniam. Each time I listen to him, I am carried away in wonderment,” said Lord Yehudi Menuhin.

The God of Indian Violin” TIMES OF INDIA

L. Subramaniam is the best this listener has heard…” – The New York Times

I find nothing more inspiring than the music making of my very great colleague Subramaniam. Each time I listen to him, I am carried away in wonderment,” said Lord Yehudi Menuhin

Arguably the greatest violinist in the history of Indian music” – Chicago World Music Festival

L. Subramaniam, greatest of classical Indian violinists, was both Paganini and Poet” – San Francisco Chronicle

Global violin icon Dr. L. Subramaniam, is the world’s leading authority of South Indian classical music and violin, having performed for more than 65 years now. Constantly propelled from Singapore to Paris, from Delhi to Los Angeles, he has conquered every audience with the elegance and virtuosity of his style.  He performed his first concert when he was 6 years old and received the best violinist prize from the President of India H.E. Dr. S. Radhakrishnan for winning the All-India Radio national competition. His career as a childhood prodigy brought him into contact with the greatest musicians and he soon imposed himself as a master of the violin. At the age of 25, he was honoured with the title Violin Chakravarti from the Governor of Madras H.E. K K Shah and the doyen of Carnatic music Shri Chembai Vaidyanathan Bhagavathar.

Dr. L. Subramaniam is the only musician who has performed/recorded Carnatic Classical Music, Western Classical Music, both Orchestral and non-Orchestral, and composed for, conducted and performed as a soloist with many major Orchestras, scored for films and ballets, collaborated with a wide range of some of the greatest musicians, from different genres of music including jazz, occidental, jugalbandhis with North Indian musicians and world music.

The global fusion concept was created by him in mid 1970s. His foray into global fusion music started in 1976 and the first album Garland was recorded with the most famous Danish violinist Svend Asmussen in April 1978. He has established himself as a force that is strongly Indian but universal in nature and approach. No other musician can boast of such diverse repertoire and collaborations or such mind-boggling techniques. To date, Dr. Subramaniam has produced, performed, collaborated and conducted over two hundred recordings.

His insatiable musical curiosity made him master different techniques of various genres and explore new avenues (he was a musical advisor to Peter Brook about the sound concepts for his “Mahabharata”). He has composed music for a select few films, including Salaam Bombay, Mississippi Masala, Gaur Hari Dastaan and he was the featured soloist for Bernardo Bertolucci’s Little Buddha and for Cotton Mary of Merchant–Ivory Productions. This total receptivity towards the world, this polymorphous talent, this technical mastery however finds their truest experience in the service of Carnatic music, the tradition he has inherited from his father and guru, Professor V. Lakshminarayana. Dr. Subramaniam’s parents Prof V. Lakshminaryana and V. Seethalakshmi were the driving force behind him and the reason he chose a life in music.

Passionate about music, Subramaniam was also dedicated to science. He passed his M.B.B.S at Madras Medical College and registered as a General Practitioner. Subsequently he did his master’s degree in Western Classical Music in California and received a PhD. for his thesis on Raga Harmony from Jain University, Bangalore.

Since 1973, Dr. Subramaniam has made historic collaborations and recordings with people like George Harrison of the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Yehudi Menuhin, Stephane Grappelli, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Steven Seagal, Ruggiero Ricci, Herbie Hancock, Anne Sophie Mutter, Pt. Ravi Shankar, Ustad Bismillah Khan, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Pt. Jasraj, Ilaiyaraaja, A.R. Rahman, amongst others.

He is recognized as one of the greatest violinists in the world with a unique and distinctive style of his own and is chiefly responsible for bringing Indian violin on a global platform. Since 1983, he has been writing and performing major orchestral works. The first major orchestral composition Double concerto for Violin & Flute was premiered in Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on March 14, 1983. Over the years he has written and created works for the world’s greatest orchestras – New York Philharmonic Orchestra (September 12-17, 1985) conducted by Zubin Mehta (Fantasy on Vedic Chants), Swiss Romande Orchestra (August 14, 1987, Turbulence), Kirov Ballet (November, 18 1988, Shanti Priya), Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (January 1, 1986, Concerto for Two Violins), Chicago World Music Festival (September 9, 2017, Bharat Symphony) Houston Symphony (August 6, 2022, Mahatma Symphony) and New York String Players, The Metropolitan Opera singers/Sri Chinmoy Choir (August 25, 1995, Global Symphony. He has recorded many of his works with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Abbey Road studios and with the London Philharmonic orchestra he has recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall. His compositions have also been choreographed and used by leading ballet companies, including the Cleveland San Jose Ballet Company and the Alvin Ailey Company. He is the first Carnatic musicians to have done a North South jugalbandi with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan on September 16, 1979 at the Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, New York.

Today, he is the founder/director of the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival, the biggest global music festival in India, in which this spirit of encounter, which he has always enjoyed, is strongly expressed. The festival since 1992, has brought over 1000 artists from around the globe and it has been held in over 25 countries across 5 continents.

His strong belief in music education led him to start the Lakshminarayana Global Centre of Excellence, co-founded by the legendary playback singer Kavita Krishnamurti Subramaniam, that offers undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D degrees in music in collaboration with leading universities like Jain University, Karanataka State Dr. Gangubai Hangal University & Vishwakarma University, with a specially designed syllabus.

To increase understanding of the concepts of South Indian Classical Music, he has released a four-CD set, called An Anthology of South Indian Music in 1988 and written an authoritative book Classical Music of India, which was co-authored with his late wife Viji Subramaniam. He has also published several books on Indian music and his own Indian and western orchestral compositions.

He has received several awards and honours, including the coveted Padma Bhushan in 2001 and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for “The Most Creative Artist” in 1990 from the President of India.  In recognition of his contribution to the World of Music, he has been conferred with Honorary Doctorates by Bangalore University (2003), University of Madras (2004), Sheffield University (2008), Rabindra Bharathi University (2016), ITM University (2016) and National Institute for Education and Research (2016).

His album titled ‘Global Fusion’ was a critically acclaimed milestone and features artists from five continents including one of the most popular and successful singers in the film industry, Kavita Krishnamurti (whom Dr. L Subramaniam married in November 1999), and his daughter Bindu Subramaniam. He has also performed and recorded internationally with his son Ambi Subramaniam and granddaughter Mahati Subramaniam.