A fascinating blend of Eastern and Western styles. The music is instantly appealing -- rhythmically, harmonically, formally.
The use of traditional Indian instruments in a modern musical context makes for a rich palette of tone colors and creates
a wide range of expressive possibilities. - Mark Laycock, Director of Orchestral Activities, Iowa State University, Iowa,
United States of America.
Raja has that unique gift to please common man and carnatic experts alike - Semangudi Srinivasa Ayyar ( Doyen of South Indian
Classical Music ) *
He is unbelievable, genius and fantastic - Lary Bain ( England Based Composer )*
His talent is not the fruit of one single birth's efforts. This level of achievement is only possible to one who has lived
with music for countless births. The speed with which he writes notations have always baffled me - Lalgudi Jayaraman ( Violin
As far as i am concerned, i would say Ilaiyaraja is the composer of the century. If there is one single authority on 'orchestration'
it can only be ilaiyaraja - Dr.Balamuralikrishna ( South Indian Classical Music Virtuoso )*
There is infinite music forms that is hidden in this man's heart. All that should flow-out for the good of mankind - K.J.Yesudass
( South Indian Lead Male Vocalist )*
Reethigowlai, Hamsanatham, Bilahari etc are some of the ragas that he has deftly handled for film music. He is not isaignani,
he is swaragnani - Kavignar Vaali ( South Indian Poet / Lyricist )*
I was bewildered after listening to his 'nothing but wind' and 'how to name it'. He belongs to the 21st century and perhaps
beyond - Maestro Zubin Mehta, Music Director, Israel Philharmonic *
That this man has achieved is 100 times more than what any of us have achieved; only time can tell the quantum of his achievements"
- doyen of hindi film music, Mr.Naushad Ali (Source: "The Frontline", 1989 Edition)
I have worked with several composers. But this man (Mr.Ilayaraaja) is on his own trip - he is a colossal talent. We have worked
together in around 70 films and we know each other's requirements and expectations very well. He saw the rushes of the film
(Hey Ram!) just once and immediately decided the music to be scored for the song sequences that have already been picturised.
I told my film crew to give me a week's time and that I will come back with one song in that time - instead I came back with
seven songs !! - Padma Shri Kamal Hassan, India's ace actor (Source : "Screen", February, 2000 Edition)
It is a treat watching him (Mr.Ilayaraaja) work - he does everything, composing, arrangement of instruments, orchestration
and conducting - that too without the help of any assistants and a stopwatch - Pandit. Hariprasad Chaurasia, renowned flautist
and exponent of Hindustani Classical Music (Source : Frontline article, 1987)
Ilayaraaja is as good as any composer in the world - Violin Virtuoso L.Subramaniam (Source: Frontline article, 1987)
Until today, I knew that Shri Ilayaraaja is a great film music director - his expertise in diluting Carnatic Ragas without
subsuming their native merits, is well known to me - but today I had the oppurtunity to listen to him sing a few kirthanas
- he sang a kirthana in Raag Abhogi - very well rendered - in Carnatic Sangeet, one needs to know the Sahityam - without knowing
it, one should not sing it making it sound absurd - Isai gyani Shri.Ilayaraaja sang it very beautifully and his grasp of the
Sahityam is commendable. After today, I realise that Shri.Ilayaraaja is a thorough expert in Carnatic music also. May the
God Almighty bless Isai Gyani with a long life so that he can render a long service to music" - Doyen of Carnatic music Shri.Semmangudi
* Source - Book Titled -'Gnana Viththu' by V. Selvaraj