On my pinboard - Dr L Subramaniam

On my pinboard - Dr L Subramaniam

Violin maestro Dr L Subramaniam earned  global recognition when he was in his early 20s, not only because of his phenomenal mastery over playing the violin and composing but also because of his numerous innovative projects. 

Subramaniam finds time to compose film scores, teach, conduct music festivals,
collaborate with orchestras and world musicians. Noteworthy among his recent works are the recorded compositions titled ‘Double Concerto’ with the violin and tuba.

   He recently paid a tribute to J S Bach in Trondheim, Norway with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra conducted by Peruvian conductor Miguel Harth-Bedoya. He also performed a double concert — one classical and the other global fusion — at the Madison Square Garden, New York.

J S Bach

“I had my grounding in Indian classical music but it was only a matter of time before I got interested in Western classical music as well. Two of my favourite composers are J S Bach and Muthuswami Dikshitar. I like global
music — varied styles of music from around the world — which is why I started the global fusion concept. It was my father V Lakshminarayana’s dream to make the violin a major solo instrument and not just an accompanying
instrument. In fact, the ‘Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival’ was started in memory of my father.”

Sivaji Ganesan

“I lived a better part of my life in Madras (now Chennai) and there was no television in those days. So going to a movie was a luxury. I would never miss any of Sivaji Ganesan’s movies and would wait for them to release. I was actually hooked onto his films. Apart from him, there were other fantastic actors like Sanjeev Kumar. I also follow films of Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, both of whom I’ve met on different occasions.”

P Sambamoorthy 

“I like reading books that are related to music, especially the works of P Sambamoorthy. I would be stuck reading books on medicine and next, I would pick up books on music. All the theoretical knowledge about music that I gathered from these books is translated into performance and included in my works and compositions. I have also written a couple of books on Indian classical music for the benefit of those outside our country.”


“I enjoy visiting places with plenty of water and beaches. London is one place that I never get tired of visiting. There’s something surreal about it. The countryside in the South of France is also of particular interest to me. I write best and my imagination is at its peak when I am amidst the mountains or by the waterside.”

Palghat Mani Iyer

“My father V Lakshminarayana Iyer has been my biggest inspiration. Apart from him, T R Mahalingam and Palghat Mani Iyer have held my interest
because they elevated the status of their instruments. Palghat Mani Iyer, in particular, has been
my mentor and guide. He always inspired me to think beyond what I see and experience. He helped me find inner peace and satisfaction. I also admire the work of Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar because he could create a great concert in any situation.”

Thai vegetarian platter

“I am a vegetarian so anything in that category always catches my attention and even while travelling abroad. I like Chinese and Thai vegetarian platters. I’ve slowly
taken a liking to Italian pizzas too. But before a concert, I always prefer a plate of ‘idli’. In the 1970s, when I used to travel to countries like Russia or Germany, I used to find it hard to find vegetarian food; even some of the salads had traces of fish in it. So I would always stock up some dry fruits, nuts, yogurt and cheese to keep me going. In general, I stay away from eating too much oily food. I am most content with my staple ‘idli’ and ‘dosa’.”

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