Manoj George

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Manoj George
upright=Manoj George performing in Bangalore
Manoj George
Background information
OriginOlarikkara, Thrissur, Kerala, India
GenresWorld fusion, Indian classical, Classical, Indian blues, Indo jazz, Blues, Indian folk music, Folk music
Occupation(s)Music director, violinist, music composer, music producer, music arranger
InstrumentsViolin
Years active1987–present
Websitemanojgeorge.com

Manoj George is an Indian violinist and a music composer.[1] He performed as the conductor, string arranger, violinist and choral arranger for the album Winds of Samsara, which won the Grammy Award for the Best New Age Album in 2015,[2] making him the first Malayali musician to receive the honour.[3] He is reported to be the first Indian violinist recognized by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, The Grammys, United States.

Manoj George has won a silver medal at the Global Music Awards 2019 for his own composition Saraswati.

Biography[edit]

Manoj George was born in Olarikkara, in Thrissur District of the south Indian state of Kerala, did his basic studies till his graduation in Kerala.[1] Later he moved out of the state to Bangalore to pursue a career as a composer, performer and a collaborator.

Manoj George is a Licentiate (degree) (LTCL) performer in Violin from the Trinity College London. He is the first Indian violinist to serve as the Brand Ambassador for Roland Corporation Japan, and Cantini Electric violin, Italy. His notable concerts include the performance at the Miss World pageant in 2001, opening act for Canadian rock musician, Bryan Adams and representing India at the World Military Games.[4] He represented Kerala and Lakshadweep NCC (National Cadet Corps) (India) Directorate as the Cultural Leader at the Republic Day Camp Held in New Delhi in 1990. He was awarded a scholarship from the Ministry of Human Resource and Culture, Government of India , New Delhi for the years 1992–1994. He is the first Indian violinist to perform in United Nations as part of "Breathe life for healthy people-Healthy planet" for first WHO global conference on Air pollution and Health.

Manoj has performed widely in India and across the World performing with various groups and musicians. He was honored by Oommen Chandy the ex Chief Minister of Kerala for his achievements in music on 25 August 2015 in Thiruvananthapuram , the capital city of Kerala. He is the founder of the world fusion band ManojGeorge4Strings also "New Wave Music Centre" which offers music courses in different subjects.

Manoj has initiated a campaign for recognizing independent musicians in India.

Manoj George has composed music for a few Malayalam and Kannada films, documentary films, corporate movies and advertisements. He scored the background music for a Malayalam film " Kharaaksharangal " which won the National Film Award for Best Children's Film in 2001.[5] He was also the Music Director for the film Urvi which has been nominated by the Los Angeles Film Awards in 2017.

He is also part of famous Indian singer Lucky Ali's band.


Early life[edit]

Manoj George is from Thrissur district in Kerala.  Manoj first picked up the violin when he was 13. During his childhood days, he always used to get fascinated by a melodious sound coming from his church Choir. Later realized that the beautiful sound was coming from Violin, the eagerness towards that sound always made him sit next to the church choir and watch the violinist play. The mesmerizing sound haunted him all the time and that got developed into a wish that he should learn that instrument. As a child, he used to sing quite well and participated in all competitions. His father was the first to notice his interests in music and asked him if he is interested to learn any instruments, and he immediately answered "Yes Violin", that realization reached to Leslie Peter,  started learning Violin from his Guru,  Kerala's’s famed tutor Sri. Leslie Peter in Kalasadan, Thrissur. After a few years of learning Violin, his Guru offered him to play for concerts, he was truly excited about this offer while he was still in his 10th grade. He was the youngest in the popular band of Kerala, Thrissur Kalasadan. This gave him an opportunity to perform with legendary singers like KJ Yesudas, KS Chitra, P Jayachandran etc. This also given him an opportunity to play for studio recording sessions, movies and album at a very young age.

While he was doing his bachelor's degree, he represented Kerala & Lakshadweep NCC directorate as the cultural leader at the Republic Day Camp Held in New Delhi in 1990. He was awarded a scholarship from the Ministry of Human Resource and Culture, Govt. of India, New Delhi for the years 1992–1994. This triggered him to realize his passion for music and the violin. And wanted to pursue this passion seriously and hence moved out from academic studies. This was a very tough decision as it was very unusual, rare and not accepted among the crowd.  Post completion of his graduation at St. Aloysius college in Thrissur, he met Fr. Thomas Chakkalamattath, director of Chetana Music Academy who guided him and took to  Pondicherry for further studies in western classical music, realizing his passion. Studied in Pondicherry for 3 years till he completed Licentiate certification (LTCL) under the guidance of Sr. Mary Judith. At the same time, he used to travel to Bangalore, Mumbai, and Chennai for master violin classes from different teachers like Philomena Thambu Chetty, Galina Heifetz and Arvind Santwan.  Sr. Judith introduced him to Mrs. Sunderlal, Director of Bangalore School of Music, who offered him to teach at Bangalore Music School and as well started performing at the Chamber of Orchestra.

His big break came when Manoj and Raghu Dixit formed a world-fusion band, Antaragni (One of the best band in the country) and performed all over India. He left the band to pursue an independent career; a freelancer and later own established his own band "ManojGeorge4Strings" and a music school "Manoj George School of Music".

As a violinist, he always struggled to get good sound from acoustic violin, have tried almost all violin's and never got satisfied with the tone. The next option was electric violin and in his early days was not affordable and it was not easily available in India. Hence got a violin custom made from Tulasi musicals Chennai. After many years, he found a violin called "Cantini" which is specifically made compatible with Roland GR 55, and bought that violin. The sound which can play on this combination is amazing. Now he is an endorsee for "Cantini Electric Violins" Italy.

During a band practice session, he met Christopher Powell, former Euphoria drummer, who was a Roland endorsee, saw him performing Violin with a Roland Guitar processor VG88. He found that quite interesting and introduced Manoj to the Roland India team and have become an Endorsee for Roland.

Filmography[edit]

No. Year Title Starring Director Language Notes
01 2000 Kharaaksharangal Siddique, Sruthi Lakshmi, Sona Nair, Srihari, TP Madhavan, Manka Mahesh, Master Arun, Rinsa Salim Salim Padiyath Malayalam Music Director This film won the National Film Award for Best Children's Film
02 2008 Athmeeya Akul Balaji , Nivedhitha, Rangayana Raghu Govindaraj Kannada Music Director
03 2012 Vaadhyar Jayasurya, Menaka, Ann Augustine Nidheesh Sakthi Malayalam Composed 2 songs for the film
04 2017 Urvi Sruthi Hariharan, Shraddha Srinath B. S. Pradeep Kumar Kannada Music Director

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Roland Honour for Manoj". The New Indian Express. 17 February 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  2. ^ "String of achievements". The Hindu. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Grammy winner Manoj George with SBS Malayalam". SBS. 23 October 2015. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Manoj George – Violinist & Music Composer". Roland Corporation. 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  5. ^ "A string story". The Hindu. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2016.

External links[edit]