Some facts about IR -"The Musical God":
Awards and honours:
Ilayaraaja (born Daniel Rajaiyya on June 2, 1943) is an Indian film composer, singer, lyricist and the first Asian composer to score a symphony for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He is a gold medalist from Trinity College of Music, London, and has composed over 4,500 songs and provided film scores for more than 900 Indian films in various languages in a career spanning more than 30 years. He is usually referred to by the title Isaignani (literally meaning 'a man with great knowledge in music'), or as "The Maestro". He is based in Chennai, the centre of the Tamil film industry (colloquially known as Kollywood).
Has won the National Film Award for Best Music Direction for the all the Tamil film Sindhu Bhairavi (1986) and the Telugu films Rudraveena (1989), Saagara Sangamam (1984).
Won the Gold Remi Award for Best Music Score jointly with film composer M. S. Viswanathan at the WorldFest-Houston Film Festival for the film Vishwa Thulasi (2005).
Was conferred the title Isaignani ('savant of music') in 1988 by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and received the Kalaimamani Award, an annual award for excellence in the field of arts from the Government of the State of Tamil Nadu, India.
Also received State Government Awards from the governments of Kerala (1995), Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh (The Lata Mangeshkar Award) (1998) for excellence in music.
Was awarded honorary doctorates by Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu, India (Degree of Doctor of Letter (Honoris causa)) (March, 1994), the World University Round Table, Arizona, U.S.A. (Cultural Doctorate in Philosophy of Music) (April, 1994), and Madurai Kamaraj University, Tamil Nadu (Degree of Doctor of Letters) (1996).
Received an Award of Appreciation from the Foundation and Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America (1994), and later that year was presented with an honorary citizenship and key to the Teaneck township by Mr. John Abraham, Mayor of Teaneck, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Has received NTR National Award for the year 2004.
Ilaiyaraaja's composition Rakkama Kaiya Thattu from the movie Thalapathi (1991) was amongst the songs listed in a BBC World Top Ten music poll. He composed the music for Nayakan (1987), an Indian film ranked by TIME Magazine as one of the all-time 100 best movies, a number of India's official entries to the Oscars, such as Anjali (1990) and Hey Ram (2000), and for Indian art films such as Adoor Gopalakrishnan's FIPRESCI Prize-winning Nizhalkkuthu ('The Dance of Shadows') (2002).
Ilaiyaraaja has composed music for events such as the 1996 Miss World beauty pageant that was held in Bangalore, India, and for a documentary called India 24 Hours (1996). The pop/hip-hop band Black Eyed Peas sampled an Ilaiyaraaja composition called "Unakkum Ennakum", from the film Sri Raghavendra (1985), for their tune "The Elephunk Theme" from their breakout album, Elephunk (2003).The alternative artist M.I.A. sampled his composition "Kaatukuyilu, " from the film Thalapathi (1991) for her song "Bamboo Banga" on the album Kala (2007).
ManiRatnam on IR -
Ilayaraja would look at the [film] scene once, and immediately start giving notes to his assistants, as a bunch of musicians, hovering around him, would collect the notes [(musical parts)] for their instrument[s] and go to their places... A [film] director can be taken by surprise at the speed of events.
Balki on IR -
His(Ilayaraja's) only quirk is music. Or you can say that he is a child without progeria. In Paa, I was dealing with two 67-years-old who have such childlike enthusiasm for their craft that it refreshed me. Ilayaraja is a fascinating guy. He's been an inspiration since my childhood. I would like to have his music in all my films.
AB on IR -
The great Ilaiyaraja, pristine in white and just off from Balaji at Tirupati, conducts me at Prasad Studios for the song from PAA. I did it once when he was not around. I did it today when he was around. The world seemed different. The quality improved.
His eyes wild and bright. His language measured and pointed. His reason behind every note definite and pure and his decision final on the output. The master, the maestro, the magician the 'little Raja'.
I am struck with emotion. It works its way up the belly through to the chest and heart and waits to explode into the eye lids.
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