(Last Updated on : 06/08/2014)
Krishnarao Ganesh Phulambrikar was a Marathi actor, composer, and musicologist. He was an architect of the golden period of Sangitnatak in Marathi Theatre. He was born in Alandi near Pune in 1898. Krishnarao Ganesh Phulambrikar was the son of a professional pandit who died when Krishnarao was only 6, reducing the family to abject poverty. He was weak in health. He did not have much formal education, but his sweet, elastic voice facilitated entrance into the Natyakala Pravartak Mandali, where he did small roles. After 1910, he left to learn classical music under Bhaskarbuwa Bakhle in Pune.
In 1918, Bal Gandharva employed him in the Gandharva Natak Mandali as male lead actor and music director, though he did some women's roles as well. He developed as a most versatile composer who, with Govindrao Tembe, helped Bal Gandharva in spreading Hindustani classical music. He left the Mandali in 1933 to become music director for V. Shantaram's Prabhat Film Company, scoring highly original songs for Dharmatma i.e. 'Soul of Dharma' in 1935, Manus i.e. 'Life Is for the Living' in 1939, and other movies. Later, he joined M. G. Rangnekar's Natyaniketan. His classical-based light music for Rangnekar's plays like Kulavadhu i.e. 'Family Bride' in 1942 and Ek hota mhatara i.e. 'There Was an Old Man' in 1948 is considered a Sangitnatak landmark. Among his many books on music, he wrote a seven-volume series for vocal and instrumental training, titled Ragsangraha i.e. 'Raga Anthology' in 1940-71. He also contributed to popularizing the Jaipur gharana. Krishnarao Ganesh Phulambrikar died in the year 1974.
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