HYDERABAD: Acclaimed Carnatic vocalist "Sangita Kalanidhi" Nedunuri Krishnamurthy, best known for his "tonal quality" and a style of his own, passed away early today at his Visakhapatnam residence.
Krishnamurthy, 87, who was undergoing treatment for lung tumour, died at 1.38 AM, a family member said. He is survived by one son and two daughters.
He earned accolades for setting to tune 108 compositions of Annamacharya, the 15th century saint-poet of Andhra Pradesh.
For more than five decades from 1951, he performed at the Madras Music Academy, which conferred on him the prestigious title of "Sangita Kalanidhi" in December 1991.
"Music is a prudent combination of art and science..for the sake of popularity, classical values should not be diluted," Krishnamurthy was once quoted as saying.
Born at Kothapalli in Pithapuram Taluk on October 10, 1927, he started performing vocal music in 1945.
Krishnamurthy joined the Maharajah's Music College at Vizianagaram in 1940 and received his initial training in violin and vocals from Late Sri Dwaram Narasinga Rao Naidu.
In 1949, he came under the influence of great master "Sangita Kalanidhi" Padmubhushan Dr Sripada Pinakapani, under whose guidance he formed a style of his own, followed by many.
He worked as the Principal of G V R Government College of Music and Dance, Vijayawada, Government College of Music and Dance, Secunderabad, M R Government College of Music and
Dance, Vizianagaram and also worked on deputation at Sri Venkateswara College of Music and Dance, Tirupati.
Krishnamurthy, who also established 'Nadasudha Tarangini' trust aimed at preserving and popularising the traditional values of Carnatic music, retired from government service in 1985.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and YSR Congress Party President Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy condoled the death.
Describing Krishnamurthy as a doyen of Carnatic music, Naidu recalled his yeoman service in the field, adding, its under his guidance that Dr M S Subbalakshmi rendered the 'Annamacharya Keerthanas' in the TTD (Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams) project.