Ilaiyaraaja Biography (Wikipedia)
Ilaiyaraaja (born Gnanathesikan) is an Indian film composer who works in the South Indian cinema but predominantly in Tamil since the late 1970s. Regarded as one of the finest music composers in India, Ilaiyaraaja is also an instrumentalist, conductor, singer, and songwriter. He has composed more than 6000 songs and provided film scores for more than 1000 films, particularly being acclaimed for his background scores.
Legendary singers S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, K. S. Chithra and S. Janaki have sung more of his songs than any other singers. He integrated folk—in Tamil—and introduced western musical sensibilities into the South Indian musical mainstream. Ilaiyaraja is also known for creating music by fusing symphonic orchestration with traditional Indian instrumentation, often performed by Budapest Symphony Orchestra. In 1993 he organised a full symphony performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London and thus became the First Indian to compose a full symphony, with Ravi Shankar being the only other Indian to do so. He is also the first Asian to compose a full symphony performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He has won five Indian National Film Awards (the highest film honor in India); three for Best Music Direction and two for Best Background Score. In 2010 he has received Padma Bhushan, awarded by the Government of India.