Music greats in superlative performance | Sunday Observer

Music greats in superlative performance

Dr. L. Subramaniam and his granddaughter Mahati Subramaniam along with the Liepājas Symphony Orchestra
Dr. L. Subramaniam and his granddaughter Mahati Subramaniam along with the Liepājas Symphony Orchestra

A unique musical extravaganza was held to mark the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi and the launch of the ‘Sapphire Residences’ apartments globally supported by the High Commission of India, Colombo and in association with the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival, at the Nelum Pokuna Theatre last week.

The concert featured world-renowned legendary violinist, Dr. L. Subramaniam, who collaborated on stage with the Liepājas Symphony Orchestra from Latvia, the largest orchestra ever to perform in Sri Lanka with over 60 musicians. The concert was an event in the international program of Latvia’s Centenary to promote Latvia’s cooperation with South East Asia in economics, education and culture.

Dr. L. Subramaniam, India’s Violin icon, has performed/recorded Carnatic Classical Music, Western Classical Music, and also composed for and conducted Orchestras, scored for films, collaborated with all-time music greats such as Yehudi Menuhin, Stephane Grappelli, Ruggiero Ricci, Herbie Hanckock, Joe Sample, Jean-Luc Ponty, Stanley Clarke, John Handy, George Harrison and other leading global musicians.

He has played with the New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Swiss Romande Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Berlin State Opera and Beijing Symphony Orchestra. He is also the founder/director of the Subramaniam Academy of Performing Arts (SaPa), a premier institute for musical education, and the Lakshminarayana Global Music Festival (LGMF), the biggest global music festival in India. He has received several awards and honours, including the coveted Padma Bhushan and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for “The Most Creative Artist” from the President of India. The celebrated musician has a special bond with Sri Lanka, because his father, who was a great violinist himself, was based in Sri Lanka in the 1930s and is credited with evolving the Carnatic playing style by which the violin became a lead instrument instead of an accompanying instrument. He himself has spent his early childhood in the island. He has a strong emotional bond with Sri Lanka and it is one of his personal dreams to find a violin recording of his father here.


The evening also featured the sounds of The Liepājas Symphony Orchestra, the oldest orchestra in the Baltic States. It was established in 1881 and became a national orchestra in 2010, performing across the globe and winning many awards globally. Led by its Art Director and Chief Conductor Gintaras Rinkevicius, the Philharmonic orchestra blended seamlessly with Dr Subramaniam treating the audience to rich divine music.