Renowned violinist TN Krishnan passed away in Chennai on November 2. He was 92 years old. A child prodigy, he had performed with legendary musicians across generations. Born in Trippunithura in 1928, Krishnan learnt music from his father, A Narayana Iyer, and held his first concert at Thiruvananthapuram at the age of 11. He moved to Chennai in 1942 and has been residing in the city ever since.
A disciple of Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Krishnan, who is known for being able to bring out the pristine beauty of Carnatic raga in his bowing, has accompanied Carnatic greats such Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Madurai Mani Iyer, MD Ramanathan and Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar.
An excellent teacher, he was the professor of music at Music College, Chennai. He later served as the Dean of School of Music and Fine Arts, University of Delhi.
A recipient of various awards, including the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan titles, Krishnan is survived by his wife Kamala, son Sriram Krishnan and daughter Viji Krishnan.
The artiste's sudden demise has come across as a huge shock to the Carnatic music fraternity. Carnatic duo Gayatri-Ranjini in a tweet said: “He strode the world of violin and music like a colossus. The living legend of Sri TN Krishnan passes on, leaving the music world bereft. Atma Shanti.”
Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, who shared a picture of him sharing a stage with the late artiste on Facebook, said in the post: “Very saddened to know that Violin maestro Prof TN Krishnan has passed away. He was one of those rare musical gems of India for whom music was a way of life. I had the honour playing many duets with him between 1990 and 1991. In fact, we also released an album called Music is Music with HMV (Now Sa Re Ga Ma). I had recently wished him on the occasion of his 92nd Birthday. It has been a great loss to the world of music. My deepest condolences to his family and prayers that his soul rests in peace. His music lives on timelessly!"
Carnatic musician Sudha Raghunatan too wrote on her Facebook page: “The grand man who wielded magic with the bow and string! Prof TN Krishnan will forever be remembered and revered for his invaluable contribution to the art world. Personally, for me, he was instrumental in facilitating the turning point in my life. He was on the panel that decided I be awarded the National Scholarship, which took to me to the doors of MLV amma, thus making me embark on a journey of and for a lifetime! I remember every minute with gratitude and bow my head in reverence! Om shanti!”
On hearing the demise of the artiste, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: "The demise of noted violinist Shri TN Krishnan leaves a big void in the world of music. His works beautifully encapsulated a wide range of emotions and strands of our culture. He was also an outstanding mentor to young musicians. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti."