TN Krishnan, a child prodigy, made his debut concert at the age of eight. At a young age he accompanied legends like Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Musiri Subrmania Iyer, Alathur Brothers, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar and Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer.
Krishnan first arrived in Madras in 1942. Sri Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer installed him in the care of Sri R. Aiyadurai, a prominent industrialist, philanthropist and connoisseur of Carnatic Music. Mr. Aiyadurai and his wife Smt. Thangam Aiyadurai welcomed the young Krishnan in to their home as their own. The Krishnan family and the Aiyadurai family share close ties till date.
His performance gives the importance he gave to expressional restraint. He scans the ragas with an eye on beauteous light and shade. In the present generation of musicians, he is one of the few instrumentalists who can provide this experience to listeners and create in their minds nostalgic memories of a bygone era. He travels extensively on musical tours all over the world.
In the midst of his concert commitments Krishnan has also carried on his father’s tradition of teaching music to a number of students, both in the traditional parampara setting and more formal academic environments. Among his many talented students, some are, his daughter Viji Krishnan Natarajan, his son Sriram Krishnan, Charumathi Raghuraman etc.
Krishnan was born in Tripunithura, Kerala to A. Narayana Iyer and Ammini Ammal. He learnt music from his father and was later mentored by Alleppy K.Parthasarathy a great patron of Music and sishya of Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar and later joined Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer.He was a Professor of Music at a music college in Chennai and later he was Dean of the School of Music and Fine Arts at the University of Delhi.
TN Krishnan is married to Kamala Krishnan and has two children, Viji Krishnan Natarajan, and Sriram Krishnan. Both Viji Krishnan Natarajan and Sriram Krishnan are well-known violinists and follow the footsteps of their father. T N Krishnan’s sister N Rajam is a famous violin player in Hindusthani tradition.
Awards & Titles
Krishnan was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1974 and became a fellow of the academy in 2006. He received the Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 1980. Krishnan was awarded the Padma Shri in 1973 and the Padma Bhushan in 1992 by the Government of India.