Veteran Carnatic singer Balamuralikrishna passes away at 86

M Balamuralikrishna was also the recipient of Padma Vibushan, India's second highest civilian honour, for his contribution towards Indian arts.

Published: 22nd November 2016 05:24 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd November 2016 09:54 PM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Veteran Carnatic musician M Balamuralikrishna, who's known for his non-conformism and boundless creativity, died here on Tuesday. He was 86.

He breathed his last today in his house at Kanakasri Nagar near the famed Music Academy on Cathedral Road.

Born in Sankaraguptam, Andhra Pradesh, Balamuralikrishna began to learn music at the age of 3. Referred to as a child prodigy, by 15, he had mastered all the 72 melakartha ragas and composed related kritis. 

Not only a vocalist, he had accompanied artistes on kanjira, mridangam and violin. Having composed over 400 songs in different languages like Sanskrit, Kannada, Telugu and Tamil, he had also acted in various films like Bhakta Prahlada. 'Oru Naal Podhuma' from the Sivaji-Ganesan starrer Thiruvilaiyadal Thiruvilaiyadal, is still a popular number among everyone. 

Until a few years, he was active in the kutcheri circuit performing concerts. Over these years, he had created ragas like Mahati, and mostly sang his own compositions during kutcheris. Balamurali renowned compositions include, “Ee pariya Sobagu” and “Satyavantarigidu Kaalavalla.” 

He was successful as an artiste with his gifted magical voice and took the classical music through its various contours in many genres including film, devotional, folk and jugalbandis. There had never been a dull moment in his concerts! He is the only South Indian artiste who, on invitation, sang Tagore’s Robindro Sangeet in All India Radio to preserve it for posterity. He has received several awards including the Padma Shri and the Padma Vibhushan, Knights of the Order of Arts and Letters awarded by the French government.


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