N. Ramani, flautist: His was pure music. We had a long association and I have learnt immensely from him. He was instrumental in my progress and we performed together in several jugalbandhis in the U.S., Dubai and Singapore. Several of his disciples are taking forward the Lalgudi baani. His death is a great loss to everybody.
Umayalpuram Sivaraman, mridangist: My association with him dates back to more than half a century. The greatness of Lalgudi is that he beautifully translated the emotion, feelings and manodharma of the main artist and painted a picture of aural beauty in the minds of rasikas. I vividly remember both of us accompanied the legend Mudikondan Venkatrama Iyer at The Music Academy several years ago and it remains one of our most memorable concerts.
T.N. Krishnan, violinist: I have known him for the last 60 years and he is more like a younger brother to me. We always respected each other’s music. His contribution to music cannot be measured and his death is a great loss to the music fraternity.
Karaikudi Mani, mridangist: He was born to play the violin. Playing alongside him in a concert was very challenging but it gave utmost satisfaction. He could engage an audience for four hours at a stretch with his violin compositions, and not one person would step out. Everybody would wait to hear him perform the thillana.
Padma Subrahmanyam, danseuse: He represented the great tradition of Thyagaraja Swamigal sishya parampara. Most of the dance performances have a thillana or padha varnam of Lalgudi’s. His contribution to dance and music is immense. I can never forget the thillana he composed for me in Raga Mandu. Our trip to the then USSR in 1987 was a memorable one.
P. Unnikrishnan, Carnatic vocalist: We grew up listening tothe maestroand his concerts where he accompanied great musicians such as G. N. Balasubramaniam and Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer. He was a great composer as well and all his thillanas were absolutely brilliant. He will continue to live through his music for many generations to come. It is a sad day for Carnatic music.
S.P. Ramh, Lalgudi’s disciple: I owe my life and musical career to my guru who was my father figure in life. He has been my inspiration. He attended many of my concerts and encouraged me a lot. At the end of each concert, he would point out both, the highlights of my performance and areas that needed improvement. He took me into his family. I learnt under him for 25 years.