(Last Updated on : 29/11/2011)
M. Balamuralikrishna is an Indian musician. He is a Carnatic vocalist, a multi-instrumentalist, a playback singer, a poet and a composer as well. This multi faceted personality is widely respected by all Indian classical musicians for his immense knowledge in Carnatic music
. This renowned Carnatic musical genius Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna was born to Mangalampalli Pattabhiramayya and Suryakanthamma, on July 6, 1930 at Sankaraguptam, a small village in Rajolu Taluk, East Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh
Early Life of M. Balamuralikrishna
M. Balamuralikrishna was in a family that was very much fond of Indian music
. His father was a well known musician and could play the flute, violin and the veena
and his mother was an excellent veena player. He inherited the musical traits of his parents. Balamuralikrishna was named Murali Krishna at birth. Under the tutelage of Sri Parupalli Ramakrishna Pantulu, Balamuralikrishna started learning Carnatic music.
Career of M. Balamuralikrishna
In 1938, at the age of eight, during a temple festival held at Vijayawada
, Balamuralikrishna gave his first vocal performance. Due to his continuous concerts, Pattabhiramayya was persuaded by his friends to let his young son dedicate himself completely to music and he stopped attending school when he was in the sixth grade. He soon mastered a variety of instruments. He can play the violin, viola, khanjira, veena, mridanga
and other instruments.
When he was barely 14 years old, he composed Raganga-Ravali, a detailed work on the 72 Melakarta scheme. Nearly 400 Carnatic musical compositions have been created by him. New ragas (Ganapathi, Mahati, Sumukham, Trisakthi, Sarvashri, Omkari, Janasamodini, Manorama, Rohini, Vallabhi, Lavangi, Pratimadhyamavathi, Sushama etc...) some with only three or four notes, and a new tala (rhythm) system are among his innovations. He sings not only in Telugu
but also in Kannada
etc, while his native tongue is Telugu. Some of his famous compositions were Sri Sakala Ganadhipa Palayamam, Mahadevasutham, Gam Gam Ganapathim.
M. Balamuralikrishna has given more than 25,000 performances throughout the world. Balamuralikrishna has been invited to give concerts in almost every country in the world, including USA, Canada, UK, Italy, France, Russia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Middle East etc. Top Hindustani musicians have collaborated with him in "jugalbandhis" (duets): including Pandit Bhimsen Joshi
, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia
and Kishori Amonkar
, among others.
M. Balamuralikrishna`s clear diction in several languages prompted an invitation to record Tagore`s entire Rabindra Sangeet
compositions in Bengali language
, preserving them for future generation. 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 M. Joel, the noted UK-based Goan composer. 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.
Apart from singing he has also acted in some movies. "Bhakta Prahlada" (1967) is one of them.
In Switzerland he founded "Academy of Performing Arts and Research" 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 and is run by his managing trustee Kalaimamani Saraswati. A world record has been created by him as 250 audio cassettes brought out by the Recording Company.
Awards and Titles of M. Balamuralikrishna
Recipient of several awards M. Balamuralikrishna was honoured with the "Padma Vibhushan" and "Padma Bhushan" by Government of India
. Some of his other awards include: the `Gana Sudhakara`, `Gayaka Sikhamani`, `Sur Singar`, `Geeta Kala Bharati`, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, `Sangeetha Kalanidhi` and Padmashree. He was conferred the title of Sangeetha Kalanidhi in the year 1978. He was chosen as the `Wisdom Man of the Year in 1992`.
The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh honoured him with the `Atma Gauravam` award in 1997. The Governor of Maharashtra
honoured him for services rendered for the cause of National Integration. He was also awarded with the "Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres" by the French government. The award "Sangeetha Saraswathi" instituted by Manava Seva Kendra was conferred on him by its founder-guardian Poojya Sri Guruji Viswanath, on 25th June 2005. The city of Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, India, has named a road after this legendry artist. Besides these He is also a recipient of many honorary doctorates from various prestigious Universities.
M. Balamuralikrishna has recreated the traditional style in his own neo classical style, which has well received by his audience.