T. N. Krishnan

T. N. Krishnan
Krishnan performing at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, on 19 January 2010
Background information
Born (1928-10-06) 6 October 1928
Tripunithura, Kerala (Then part of Cochin state)
Genres Carnatic music
Occupation(s) violinist
Instruments violin

Trippunithura Narayanaiyer Krishnan (born 6 October 1928) is a Carnatic music violinist. He was awarded the Madras Music Academy's Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 1980. He is commonly grouped with Lalgudi Jayaraman and M.S. Gopalakrishnan as part of the violin-trinity of Carnatic Music.

Personal life and background

Krishnan was born in Tripunithura, Kerala to A. Narayana Iyer and Ammini Ammal. He learned music from his father and was later mentored by Alleppy K.Parthasarathy a great patron of Music and sishya of Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar and later joined Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer. He was a Professor of Music at a music college in Chennai and later he was Dean of the School of Music and Fine Arts at the University of Delhi.

TN Krishnan is married to Kamala Krishnan and has two children, Viji Krishnan Natarajan, and Sriram Krishnan.[1] Both Viji Krishnan Natarajan and Sriram Krishnan are well-known violinists and follow the footsteps of their father. T N Krishnan's sister N. Rajam is a famous violin player in Hindusthani tradition.


TN Krishnan, a child prodigy, made his debut concert at the age of eight. At a young age he accompanied legends like Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Musiri Subramania Iyer, Alathur Brothers, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar, M D Ramanathan and Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer.

Krishnan first arrived in Madras in 1942. Sri Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer installed him in the care of Sri R. Aiyadurai, a prominent industrialist, philanthropist and connoisseur of Carnatic Music. Mr. Aiyadurai and his wife Smt. Thangam Aiyadurai welcomed the young Krishnan in to their home as their own. The Krishnan family and the Aiyadurai family share close ties till date.

It has been said that his performance gives the importance he gave to expressional restraint and He scans the ragas with an eye on beauteous light and shade.[2] In the present generation of musicians, he is one of the few instrumentalists who can provide this experience to listeners and create in their minds nostalgic memories of a bygone era.[3] He travels extensively on musical tours all over the world.

In the midst of his concert commitments Krishnan has also carried on his father's tradition of teaching music to a number of students, both in the traditional parampara setting and more formal academic environments. Among his many talented students, some are, his daughter Viji Krishnan Natarajan, his son Sriram Krishnan, Charumathi Raghuraman etc.

Awards and titles

Krishnan was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1974 and became a Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship of the academy in 2006.[4][5] He received the Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 1980. Krishnan was awarded the Padma Shri in 1973 and the Padma Bhushan in 1992 by the Government of India.[6] He received the Sangeetha Kalasikhamani award for the year 1999 given by The Indian Fine arts Society, Chennai.


  • Maestros Choice (1991)
  • Legendary Solo[7]
  • Classical instrumental Violin


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-16. Retrieved 2008-12-17.
  2. "Magical spell of music". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 2004-08-06.
  3. http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/mp/2004/06/07/stories/2004060701030200.htm
  4. "SNA: List of Akademi Awardees — Instrumental — Carnatic Violin". Sangeet Natak Akademi. Archived from the original on April 3, 2015. Retrieved 2009-09-24.
  5. "SNA: List of Akademi Fellows". Sangeet Natak Akademi. Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2009-09-24.
  6. "Padma Awards". Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
  7. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-12. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
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