Dr L Subramaniam started the LGMF in 1992 with Vijayashree Subramaniam in memory of his father and guru Professor V Lakshminarayana. Its central idea is to allow everyone to enjoy diverse musical styles. To that end the festival showcases some of the world’s best artists and presents live concerts. So far millions of listeners have attended the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival concerts. Artists from over 25 countries have come to India and the LGMF has been presented globally across 75 cities. LGMF has also collaborated with many international festivals including Berlin Music Festival The WOMADelaide Chicago World Music Festival and Trans-Siberian Festival. LGMF has also been presented digitally on social media platforms in recent years. The Lakshminarayana Youth Festival has been a unique addition to promoting young talent in recent years.
Prof. V. Lakshminarayana was a great composer, musicologist, and, most importantly, a teacher. Prof. Lakshminarayana was a visionary in the field of Indian music. He was responsible for many of the innovations now in everyday practice. When the Indian violin was an accompanying instrument, he aspired to elevate it to the position of a solo instrument by developing several new techniques that he taught his children and students. As a result, the Indian violin was recognised, respected and accepted as an important solo instrument at the global level. He also formed the first ‘Violin Trio’ with his three sons – L. Vaidyanathan, Dr L. Subramanaiam and L. Shankar.
Prof. Lakshminarayana learnt under the tutelage of Gopala Bhagawathar a disciple of Parameshwara Bharawathar a musician in the court of the great composer Maharaja Swati Tirunal. Prof. Lakshminarayana’s musical lineage can be traced to all three members of the Carnatic Music Trinity – Tyagaraja Muthuswami Dikshitar and Shyama Shastry.
Although his music was steeped in tradition he always had an open mind. He would organize concerts where the first half comprised Western Classical music and the second half comprised Carnatic music.
The masterful innovative violin techniques that he created intrigued some of the greatest violinists like Lord Yehudi Menuhin Stephane Grappelli and many others when they heard Dr. L. Subramaniam’s play. This led to many iconic artists collaborating with Dr. Subramaniam on various musical projects.
In light of his outstanding contribution, the government of India released a commemorative stamp in his honour in 2004. The State Governments of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh also released First Day Covers in his honour. In his hometown of Allepey, there is a road named after him: ‘Violin Lakshminarayana Road.’
In addition to teaching his sons he also taught his three daughters – Brahanayaki Subbulakshmi and Ganasaraswathy who also Performed concerts. He taught many other musicians including music director Ilaiyaraja and Carnatic singer Sanjay Subhramanyam.
Kavita Krishnamurti SubramaniamIn 2010, ‘Melody Queen’ Kavita Krishnamurti Subramaniam took over as Artistic Director of the Festival. LGMF is the only music festival that has been able to showcase talent from around the world and provide a platform for all different styles of music; it has presented Indian Classical (Carnatic and Hindustani), Jazz, Rock, Western Classical, Orchestral, Indian Folk, Ghazals, Bhajans, Bollywood and different Classical and Folk styles from different continents.
Live performances from the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival have been released as audio CDs and DVDs and episodes of the festival have been aired on Indian television channels with viewership in over ninety countries. Till date, the festival has been held in 52 cities across 20 countries and has received tremendous support from the press and public alike, sometimes hosting audiences of up to 200,000 people at a single event.
Festival Beyond Borders - A son’s musical tribute to his father and guru
``The first festival was inaugurated on 11 January 1992, my father’s birth anniversary. We thought there would be no greater tribute to him than having a series of performances by great musicians under the banner of the Lakshminarayana International Festival’ (which was renamed as the ‘Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival’).`` Dr . L. Subramaniam