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Ilayaraja performs for the first time in Houston

Ilayaraja, 74, who performed with an 85-member symphony orchestra from Hungary and noted musicians from India, had a packed house with over 4000 people in the audience in Houston.

music Updated: Mar 13, 2018 10:00 IST
Houston, Press Trust of India
Ilayaraaja,Raaja-The One Man,first Asian Composer to score a Symphony
Music maestro Ilayaraja enthralled music lovers with his first ever concert Raaja-The One Man

Music maestro Ilayaraja enthralled music lovers here with his first ever concert Raaja-The One Man.

The musician, 74, who performed with an 85-member symphony orchestra from Hungary and noted musicians from India, had a packed house with over 4000 people in the audience. “I am very grateful and honoured to have the opportunity to entertain fans for the first time in Houston, I will be singing songs of the ‘70s to the current ones,” he said at the beginning of the concert. I am the only composer in the world to have composed a song only in the ascending notes,” he added.

Ilaiyaraaja, a critically acclaimed Indian film composer, singer, and lyricist and the first Asian Composer to score a Symphony, is credited with setting a trend for film music in South India by fusing western musical nuances into songs.

Apart from Tamil, he has also worked in Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi films as a music director. Raja was accompanied by noted south Indian singers K S Chitra, Mano, Haricharan, Rahul Nambiar, Sharath, Santosh and other Bollywood singers and mesmerising members of Budapest symphony orchestra. “We cannot thank Rajender Singh of Star Promotions, who has been bringing Bollywood shows nonstop for years, for bringing the legend finally to Houston and watching him live has been dream come true, an excited fan AnnaPoorani Roopa Balakrishnan said.

“Blessed and Privileged to witness Padmavibushan Thiru Ilayaraja live in Houston”, said another fan Yogeshwar Thyagaraja.

KS Chithra -- nightingale of Kerala -- charmed the audience with Ninnu Kori Varnam. As Mano started, the audience engulfed in a wave of nostalgia, cheered aloud for the bygone era.

In a career spanning over four decades, Raja has scored music for over 1,000 feature films. Altogether, 6,500 to 7,000 songs have been composed by him so far. He bagged five National Awards.

The musician will travel to other cities including, Dallas, San Jose, Chicago, Connecticut, and Toronto.

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First Published: Mar 13, 2018 10:00 IST