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M Balamuralikrishna

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Occupation(s)  Musician
Genres  Carnatic music
Role  Vocalist

Name  M. Balamuralikrishna
Years active  1938–present
Movies  Bhakta Prahlada
M. Balamuralikrishna httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsee
Native name  మంగళంపల్లి బాలమురళీకృష్ణ
Birth name  Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna
Born  6 July 1930 (age 85) Sankaraguptam, East Godavari District, Madras Presidency, British India (now part of Andhra Pradesh, India) (1930-07-06)
Instruments  Singing, viola, mridangam, kanjira
Albums  Swara Raga Sudha, Carnatic Vocal, Pancharatna Krithis
Awards  Kerala State Film Award for Best Singer
Similar People  Tyagaraja, M S Subbulakshmi, Sudha Ragunathan, Muthuswami Dikshitar, Annamacharya

Padma vibhushan carnatic vocalist dr m balamuralikrishna interview

Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna (6 July 1930 – 22 November 2016) was an Indian Carnatic vocalist, musician, multi-instrumentalist, playback singer, composer, and character actor. He was awarded the Madras Music Academy's Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 1978. He has garnered two National Film Awards (1976, 1987), the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1975, the Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian honor in 1991, for his contribution towards arts, the Mahatma Gandhi Silver Medal from UNESCO in 1995, the Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government in 2005, the Sangeetha Kalanidhi by Madras Music Academy, and the Sangeetha Kalasikhamani in 1991, by the Fine Arts Society, Chennai to name a few.


M. Balamuralikrishna M Balamuralikrishna Latest News Photos Videos on M

Balamuralikrishna started his career at the age of six. Up to the present time, he has given over 25,000 concerts worldwide. He accompanied Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, and gave jugalbandi concerts with Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and Kishori Amonkar, among others. He is also known for popularizing the compositions of Sri Bhadrachala Ramadasu and Sri Annamacharya. Balamuralikrishna's concerts combine sophisticated vocal skills and rhythmic patterns of classical music with the popular demand for entertainment value. Balamuralikrishna has been invited to give concerts in many countries, including the US, Canada, UK, Italy, France, Russia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Middle East and many more. Apart from his native tongue, Telugu, his works also include ones in other languages like Kannada, Sanskrit, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, Bengali, and Punjabi.

M. Balamuralikrishna Dr M Balamuralikrishna in LGMF Lakshminarayana Global

He appeared as featured soloist with an award-winning British choir, performing the "Gitanjali Suite" with words from Rabindranath Tagore's Nobel Prize-winning poetry and music by "Dr. Joel", the noted UK-based Goan composer. His clear diction in several languages prompted an invitation to record Tagore's entire Rabindra Sangeet compositions in Bengali, preserving them for posterity. He has sung in French, and even ventured into jazz fusion, collaborating with the top Carnatic percussion teacher, Sri T.H. Subash Chandran, in a concert for Malaysian royalty. In February 2010, he did a three-day concert in Visakhapatnam.

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Early life

Balamuralikrishna was born in Sankaraguptam, East Godavari District, Madras Presidency (now a part of Andhra Pradesh state). His father was a well known musician and his mother was a veena player. Balamuralikrishna's mother died when he was an infant and he was raised by his father. Observing his interest in music, his father put him under the tutelage of Parupalli Ramakrishnayya Pantulu, a direct descendant of the shishya parampara of Tyagaraja. Under his guidance, the young Balamuralikrishna learned Carnatic music. At the age of eight, he gave his first full-fledged concert at a Thyagaraja Aradhana in Vijayawada. Musunuri Suryanarayana Murty Bhagavatar, a Harikatha performer, saw the musical talent in him and gave the prefix "Bala" (lit. child) to the young Balamuralikrishna.

M. Balamuralikrishna Kala harana by Dr M Balamuralikrishna YouTube

Balamuralikrishna thus began his musical career at a very young age. By the age of fifteen he had mastered all the 72 melakartha ragas and had composed krithis in the same. The Janaka Raga Manjari was published in 1952 and recorded as Raagaanga Ravali in a nine-volume series by the Sangeeta Recording Company. Not merely content with his fame as a Carnatic vocalist, very soon started playing the kanjira, mridangam, viola and violin. He also accompanied various musicians in violin and is also noted to give solo viola concerts.


Characteristic of Balamuralikrishna's musical journey has been his non-conformism, spirit of experimentation and boundless creativity. Balamuralikrishna has experimented with Carnatic music system by keeping its rich tradition untouched. The ragas like Ganapathi, Sarvashri, Mahati, Lavangi etc. are credited to him. The ragas which he invented represent his quest for new frontiers. Ragas like Lavangi are set to three or four notes in ascending and descending scale. Ragaas created by him, like Mahathi, Lavangi, Sidhdhi, Sumukham have only four notes; while Ragaas created by him, like Sarva Sri, Omkaari, Ganapathy have only three notes.

He also innovated the tala system. He has incorporated "gati bhEdam" (గతి భేదం) in the "sashabda kriya" (సశబ్ద క్రియ) (actions in Talas, which can produce sound/shabda (శబ్ద) are called sashabda kriya - సశబ్ద క్రియ) part of the existing Tala chain, thus throwing open a new chain of Tala system. Saint Arunagirinaadhar used to inject such systems in his famous Thirupugazh, but only as Sandham, while Balamuralikrishna is known to be the pioneer in bringing such Sandhams into a logical rhythm, with Angam and definition. Thri Mukhi, Panchamukhi, Saptha Mukhi and Nava Mukhi are the basic classifications, he has named for his New Tala System. He gave his authorisation to S. Ram Bharati to found "Academy of Performing Arts and Research" in Switzerland and is also working on music therapy. He established the 'MBK Trust' with the objective of developing art and culture and for carrying out extensive research into music therapy. A dance and music school, 'Vipanchee' is a part of this Trust.


Balamuralikrishna has over 400 compositions to his credit and is one of the very few people to have composed in all the 72 Melakarta Ragas and has created several ragas, with 4 notes and 3 notes and also has invented a new Tala system. His compositions encompass every facet in Carnatic Music that includes Varnas, Krithis, Thillanas, Bhavageethas.


Balamuralikrishna has sung in several films in Telugu, Sanskrit, Kannada and Tamil. He made his acting debut with the Telugu film Bhakta Prahlada (1967) as Narada, and has acted in few films in Telugu and Tamil.


Balamuralikrishna died at his residence in Chennai on 22 November 2016; he was 86. His end came in deep sleep at around five in the evening, due to a cardiac arrest. He was cremated with full state honours at Besant Nagar Crematorium in Chennai on the very next day. Thousands attended his funeral. He is survived by his three daughters, and three sons who are all Doctors. His wife Annapurna also outlived him for three months, and died on 16 February 2017.

Civilian honours

  • Padma Shri (1971)
  • Padma Vibhushan (1991)
  • Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the Government of France (2005)
  • National Film Awards (India)

  • Best Male Playback Singer for the Kannada musical movie Hamsageethe (1975)
  • Best Music Direction for the Kannada film Madhvacharya (1986)
  • Kerala State Film Award

  • Best singer for Swathi Thirunal Mahotsavam (1987)
  • Best Classical Music Singer for Gramam (2010)
  • Tamil Nadu State Film Award

  • Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Male Playback singer for Pasanga (2009)
  • Other honours

  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1975)
  • Sangeetha Kalanidhi by Madras Music Academy (1978)
  • Doctor of Letters from Shri Venkateshwara University (1981)
  • Honorary PhD from Andhra University
  • Doctor of Science from Andhra University
  • Doctor of Letters from Andhra University
  • Sangeetha Kalasikhamani by The Fine Arts Society, Chennai (1991)
  • Mahatma Gandhi Silver Medal from UNESCO (1995)
  • Natya Kalasikhamani The Fine Arts Society, Chennai (2001)
  • Sangeetha Kalasarathy (2002)
  • "Sangeetha Virinchi" title conferred by Sangeetha Bharathi music School, Auckland, New Zealand (2009)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award by the Global Indian Music Academy Awards (2011)
  • First Citizen Award from Vijayawada City
  • "Wisdom Man of the Year" (1992)
  • "Naada Maharishi" by the Nrityalaya Aesthetics Society (1996)
  • A documentary film, The Melody Man, was made on his life by the Government of India Films Division. The film was directed by National award winner Director Gul Bahar Singh.

    Film compositions

    Balamuralikrishna acted in few films and gave his voice to some selected songs in Indian cinema.


    M. Balamuralikrishna Wikipedia