Panaji: Music maestro Ilaiyaraaja was conferred the 'Centenary Award for Indian Personality of the Year' for his outstanding contribution to the music industry at the opening ceremony of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) on Friday.
The 72-year-old composer took the opportunity to ask the government to make music a compulsory subject in schools and colleges.
I & B Minister Arun Jaitley and Anil Kapoor look on as music maestro Ilaiyaraaja speaks after being honored with Centenary Award for Personality of the Year at the 46th International Film Festival, in Panaji, Goa. PTI Photo
"I know it is not the right place to ask something. But I still want to go ahead and ask the government to do something.I want them to make music compulsory in schools and colleges," said Ilaiyaraaja after receiving the honour from Information & Broadcasting Arun Jaitley and actor Anil Kapoor. Both Jaitley and Kapoor were all praise for the music maestro.
"I believe that he has just composed the music for his 1000th film. This shows the level of industry and quality that he has put in so far," the minister said.
"Not many know that my second film was a Kannada film which was Mani Ratnam's directorial debut 'Pallavi Anu Pallavi' and the music composer for the movie was Ilaiyaraaja. I don't know if I deserve but I am honoured to present the award to him today," Anil said.
The composer is credited with integrating folk and western musical sensibilities into the South Indian musical mainstream.
Ilaiyaraja is also known for creating music by fusing symphonic orchestration with traditional Indian instrumentation. He has won four Indian National Film Awards. He is also the recipient of Padma Bhushan.