Interesting Facts You May Not Have Known about Indian Music and Indian Musicians (Part 2)

First Music School in India

Gandharva Mahavidyalaya” in Lahore, set up by Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar on 5th May 1901, is the first music school in India. The Music school was run by funds that were raised by public support, concerts, and donations from the richer class of the society. Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar returned to Mumbai in September 1908 to set up a branch of the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya. Finally, the Lahore school was shifted to Mumbai after Independence.

Gandharva Mahavidyalaya

First Musician to receive Padma Bhushan Award

The first Indian musician to receive Padma Bhushan was M.S. Subbulakshmi, who received Padma Bhusan Award in 1954 and then Padma Vibhushan Award in 1975. Ms. Subbulakshmi was also the first musician to receive Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public service in the year 1974. She was the legendary Carnatic Musician and popularly known as the Nightingale of India. She was born in the temple city of India, Madhurai on September 16th, 1916. She was trained Carnatic music from Semmangudi Srinivas Iyer and was trained Hindustani music from Pandit Narayan RaoVyas. Ms. Subbulakshmi is one of the three women that conferred the title “Gems of India” by the Government of India. The other women who conferred this title are Lata Mangeshkar and Sharan Rani. She was conferred Bharat Ratna in 1988.

First Indian to compose Symphony

The first Indian to compose symphony was Illayaraja, who composed a full length western classical symphony in July 1993. It took him one month to complete this one-hour symphony. He is the first Asian whose symphony was performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s John Scott. The president of the Orchestra is Lord Yehudi Menuhin, a renowned lyricist, singer, and film composer. The Orchestra is patronized by Queen Elizabeth. He has won National Film Award for Best Music Director for three times.