Ilayaraja (Gnana Thesikaran)

Ilayaraja is an eminent music director who was reverred as “Maestro” for his exemplary work towards music in the South Cinema and is regarded as one of the finest music composers in India.

Ilayaraja was born as “Gnana Thesikaran”, but his father named him “Rajaiya” in School. He joined Dhanraj master to learn music and he renamed “Rajaiya” as “Raja”. Later, the producer Panchu Arunachalam added, “Ilaya” (means younger one in Tamil) as there was another composer/singer named AM Raja by then. That’s how “Gnana Thesikaran” has become “Ilayaraja” with his debut movie “Annakkili”. Ilayaraja infused western classical music harmonies in Indian Cinema.

In a career, that spanned nearly 40 years, Ilayaraja has composed music for over 1000 films, the rarest feat surpassed by none. The legendary music director has won 4 National Awards and was coveted with the honorary “Padmabhushan” by the Government of India. Most popular Telugu movies of Ilayaraja include Chanti, Sagara Sangamam, Abhilasha, Sitara, Geethanjali, Prema, Killer, Shiva, Jagadekaveerudu Athiloka Sundari, Srirama Rajyam and Rudramadevi.