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When A R Rahman asked his students to follow Ilaiyaraja

The Tamil Nadu Film Producers Council organised a two-day event last week to celebrate Maestro Ilaiyaraja’s 75th birthday and felicitate the master composer for his contribution to Tamil cinema.

Several prominent Tamil film artists including big stars like Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan and Vikram were part of the event.

One of the highlights of the event was when Oscar-winning composer A R Rahman and Ilaiyaraja shared the stage and even performed a song together. A mobile video clip of Rahman playing a famous Ilaiyaraja tune beside the man himself went viral on social media with fans describing it as an ‘unforgettable moment in history.’
Though always pitted against each other as industry rivals, when it comes to the art of music, Rahman has always respected Ilaiyaraja as his guru. Rahman had, in fact, worked as a sessions keyboard player for Ilaiyaraja before he became a music director himself. The composer has often expressed his admiration for Ilaiyaraja and said that he was a great man to train under.

Sam Edwin Manohar, a former student of Rahman’s KM Music Conservatory in Chennai, recalls an interaction between the students and the composer. Rahman, who is the principal of the institution, used to occasionally visit their class and have discussions with the students. During one such session, a student asked Rahman who should be their role model in the music industry. The composer without thinking for even a split second replied Ilaiyaraja.

After the recent event, Rahman shared a collage of an old picture of Ilaiyaraja dictating some instructions to him and the recent picture of them sharing the stage and said that it was a great feeling to be with the Maestro.

33 years later with the Maestro, What a great feeling ! #EllamPugazhumIraivanukke

— A.R.Rahman (@arrahman) February 3, 2019

Rahman and Ilaiyaraja are two of the biggest names in the Tamil and Indian music scene and have created countless musical gems which will be treasured and forever rule our playlists. 

Their camaraderie on stage last week has received a lot of positive response with people praising the mutual admiration and respect between the two legends.

Source: The New Indian Express