T. V. Gopalakrishnan

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T. V. Gopalakrishnan
T S Nandakumar and T V Gopalakrishnan.jpg
Background information
Birth nameTripunithura Viswanathan Gopalakrishnan
Born (1932-06-11) 11 June 1932 (age 87)
OriginKerala, India
Occupation(s)singer, carnatic

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]

Gopalakrishnan hails from a family of musicians spanning over two centuries.[2] His father was a court musician for the Cochin Royal Family.[3] He is one of the rare musicians who is equally proficient in both Carnatic and Hindustani Vocal, mrudangam and violin.[4] Gopalakrishnan started playing the mridangam at the age of four and had his arangetram at the Cochin palace at the age of six.[5] He is one of the seniormost disciples of Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar.[5][6] 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.[7]

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.[8]

In 2018, he was awarded a doctorate by Bharatidasan University for his research on the topic "Layathwam in Carnatic music".[9]


In his career spanning over five decades, many honours and awards have been bestowed on Dr.TVG. A few awards have been:

  • 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. ^ "Chembai award for T.V. Gopalakrishnan". The Hindu. 17 August 2005. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  5. ^ a b Jayakumar, G. (2 September 2005). "A maestro's music". The Hindu. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  6. ^ Rajan, Anjana (12 January 2007). "A time to every purpose". The Hindu. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  7. ^ "Pop and Jazz Guide". New York Times. 21 May 2004. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  8. ^ "Padma awardees say they feel honoured". The Hindu. 26 January 2012. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  9. ^ "TVG researches Carnatic music, bags doctorate at 86". The Times of India. 22 February 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2018.