Dr N. Rajam

Dr N. Rajam
is one of the senior legends of the North Indian classical (Hidustani) genre. She was born into a family that has a rich heritage in classical Indian music. Her father, Narayana Iyer, was a prominent classical Carnatic violinist and her brother, T. N. Krishnan, is one of the foremost Carnatic violinists performing today. Her initial instruction was from her father, before training with Pandit Onkarnath Thakur, a renowned Hindustani vocalist.

She is, today, a truly magical performer. She has a silken, infallible and definite touch on the violin with not a single note being ever out of place. In her notes to a Music Today album she quotes her guru-s advice about playing: “Approach the musical notes with utmost tenderness, love and humility, caress them and cajole them.” It is advice she has taken to heart. Given her background in the two styles of Indian classical music (Carnatic and Hindustani) and given her interests in and knowledge of both art forms, she is an ideal partner to Dr N. Ramani in a Jugalbandhi concert.
Rajam received the prestigious titles of Padmashri and Padmabhushan from the Government of India. People often refer to her music as the “Singing Violin”.

Rajam has performed across the globe and in numerous places throughout India. She has performed in various countries in Europe, extensively toured the USA and Canada, and performed in countries like Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Netherlands, to name a few.

In BHU, Rajam was on the staff of the Faculty of Performing Arts for nearly 40 years. She has worked as Dean and Head of Department in Banaras Hindu University.

Three generations of violinists – Dr. N. Rajam, daughter Sangeetha Shankar and granddaughters Ragini and Nandini showcased their mastery over both Carnatic and Hindustani styles at the Isha Celestial festival of music and dance. They were accompanied by Ojas Yogesh Adiya on the tabla.