Chennai: Tuesday dealt a tragic blow to Carnatic music lovers. The legendary Carnatic vocalist and prolific composer Mangalam-palli Balamuralikrishna is no more. He passed away in his residence at Kanakasrinagar near the famed Music Academy on Cathedral Road. He was among the leading lights featured in the familiar national integration song: Mile Sur Mera Tumhara.
Balamuralikrishna was 86. This influential vocalist and composer known for “optimism and clarity of his three-octave vocals”, displayed a mastery of classical musical traditions of India, composing over 400 thillanas, kritis and varnams.
Immediately after the news of his demise broke, his fans and those from the film fraternity went to his house to pay respects to the giant.
Balamuralikrishna gave his first performance at the tender age of 8 in Vijayawada. Upon witnessing his performance, Musunuri Suryanarayana Murty Bhagavatar, a distinguished Harikatha performer, gave the prefix “Bala” and hence he became Balamurali-krishna. He went on to sing for over 75years!
The maestro was a native of Sankaragup-tam, E. Godavari district.
Balamuralikrishna was inventor of the tala system
The legendary Carnatic vocalist and prolific composer Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna is no more. He passed away in his residence at Kanakasrinagar near the famed Music Academy on Cathedral Road at the age of 86. Balamuralikrishna had innovated the tala system with Thrimukhi, Pancha-mukhi, Sapthamukhi and Navamukhi. Apart from being a vocalist, Balamuralikrishna also played the viola, violin, mridangam, and kanjira and was well-versed in Hindustani vocal music too. He had also acted in films, a noteworthy role as Narada in Telugu movie Bhakta Prahalada.
The music legend rendered some unforgettable playback songs. His big hit film song was Enakku inayaaga durbaril evarum undoe? in Thiruvilayadal. The truth is there is none to equal him in the world of Carnatic music. Balamuralikrishna was conferred with Padma Vibhushan in 1991 and was also a recipient of Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. He won several awards, including the National Award for best playback singer and best music director.
AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu was the first to respond with a tribute, tweeting: “Saddened to learn about the demise of Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna, a famous Carnatic singer whose contribution to the field has been immense.”