T. V. Gopalakrishnan Indian Carnatic and Hindustani musician

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T. V. Gopalakrishnan
Picture taken of TVG and T S Nandakumar during a speech in Bombay
Picture taken of TVG and T S Nandakumar during a speech in Bombay
Background information
Birth nameTripunithura Viswanathan Gopalakrishnan
Born (1932-06-11) 11 June 1932 (age 88)
OriginKerala, India
Occupation(s)singer, violinist, mridangist
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Tripunithura Viswanathan Gopalakrishnan (born 11 June 1932 in Tripunithura, Kerala), popularly known as TVG, is a Carnatic and Hindustani musician from Cochin, Kerala. He was awarded the Madras Music Academy's Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 2014.[1]

Early Years

Gopalakrishnan was born on June 11, 1932 into a family of musicians with a history spanning over two centuries.[2] His father, T.G. Viswanatha Bhagavathar, was a court musician for the Cochin Royal Family and a professor of music at the S.K.V. College in Thrissur.[3] Gopalakrishnan started playing the mridangam at the age of four and had his arangetram at the Cochin palace at the age of six.[4] He is a disciple of Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar.[4][5]

The violinist, T.V. Ramani and ghatam exponent T.V. Vasan, are his siblings.[6]


He is one of the rare musicians who is equally proficient in both Carnatic and Hindustani Vocal, mridangam and violin.[7] Hailed as an innovator of Indian Jazz, TVG has toured all over the world with the legends like George Harrison, Bob Dylan, John Handy, Ravi Shankar, Ustad Alla Rakha, etc. He has also collaborated with drummer/composer Franklin Kiermyer, Don Peake, Seigfried Kutterer and Carola Grey on many occasions.[8]

Gopalakrishnan was given the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1990. He has been awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in the year 2012.[9]

In 2018, he was awarded a doctorate by Bharatidasan University for his research on the topic "Layathwam in Carnatic music".[10] He founded a Non Profit Organization called Academy of Indian Music and Arts (AIMA) with the sole vision of creating opportunities for musicians across the strata of the society in 1984[11] AIMA is an Integrated and unique Gurukula system of specialized musical education with absolute focus on producing good professional singers and instrumentalists in various traditional disciplines, as also scholars and technicians.Art of performance and the Art of Teaching in music is imbibed to students of all ages and background in the unique TVG Teaching Method[12]


This is an incomplete list of releases. The release dates are also not always indicative of the original release date of the associated record.

  • Percussion Through the Ages in South India (instructional) (1961)
  • Melodious Strings of the Indian Violin (featuring T. N. Krishnan) (1991)
  • Eastern Beats (solo mridangam) (1995)
  • Meeting Sounds Of T.V. Gopalakrishnan (featuring M. S. Gopalakrishnan) (2005)
  • Maragadamani (2008)


In his career spanning over five decades, many honours and awards have been bestowed on Gopalakrishnan. These include:

  • Sangeetha Kalanidhi Award from Madras Music Academy , 2014
  • Padma Bhushan, 2012
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Award
  • Sangita Laya Samrat
  • Rotary International Exemplary Citizen Award
  • Kalaimamani
  • Life Time Achievement award from Bangalore Ramaseva Mandali
  • Swati Tirunall Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Sapthagiri Sangeetha Vidwan Mani Award (Tirupathi)
  • Legend of India Life Achievement Award
  • "Arsha Kala Bhushanam" (H.H. Dayananda Saraswathi Life Time Achievement Award)
  • Lifetime National Achievement Sankaracharya Award (Bombay) etc.
  • Mudhra Award for excellence
  • Lifetime achievement award from Bharath Kalachar etc


  1. ^ Massey, Reginald; Marcus Massey (1999). India's kathak dance, past present, future. Abhinav Publications. p. 113. ISBN 81-7017-374-4.
  2. ^ Kumar, Raj (2003). Essays on Indian Music. Discovery Publishing House. p. 205. ISBN 81-7141-719-1.
  3. ^ "Profiles of Artistes, Composers, Musicologists". Indian heritage. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  4. ^ a b Jayakumar, G. (2 September 2005). "A maestro's music". The Hindu. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  5. ^ Rajan, Anjana (12 January 2007). "A time to every purpose". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 5 November 2012. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  6. ^ Srinivasan, Meera (30 September 2010). "Renowned Ghatam exponent passes away". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
  7. ^ "Chembai award for T.V. Gopalakrishnan". The Hindu. 17 August 2005. Archived from the original on 19 September 2006. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  8. ^ "Pop and Jazz Guide". The New York Times. 21 May 2004. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  9. ^ "Padma awardees say they feel honoured". The Hindu. 26 January 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  10. ^ "TVG researches Carnatic music, bags doctorate at 86". The Times of India. 22 February 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  11. ^ "TVG AIMA | Academy of Indian Music and Arts". tvgaima.com. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
  12. ^ "TVG AIMA | Academy of Indian Music and Arts". tvgaima.com. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
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