Balamurali Is No More
- The world of Carnatic music loses a great voice
Chennai: The world of Carnatic music has lost its dearest son. Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna (86), famous Carnatic vocalist, playback singer, music composer and actor breathed his last here at his residence on Tuesday. The multi-instrumentalist was born at Sankaraguptam in East Godavari district on 6th July 1930. He lived in Vijayawada and Hyderabad for a number of years as a music producer for All India Radio before moving to Chennai on a transfer. He worked as principal of Music College at Vijayawada. He has a house at Satyanarayana Puram in Vijayawada where the street has been named after him.
A highly decorated musician in the country, Balamurali was awarded Padmashri, Padmabhushan and Padmavibhushan. He won Film Fare Awards in 1967 and 1987. He created new ragas and kritis. His Pancha Kritis and Swara Raga Sudha are famous for their originality and creativity. The role of Narada he played in the film Bhakta Prahlada made him an actor of repute. He rendered music for about 400 film songs. He was highly accomplished in music and literature on which he left his own indelible mark.
Balamurali started his long and prolific journey in music at the age of 6. He sang in Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Oriya, Bengali, Hindi and French. He is known for the clarity of his three octave-vocals. He has consistently displayed mastery over the Indian traditional music over the decades. He performed jugalbandi with Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, the flutist, and Bhimsen Joshi of Hindustani musical tradition. He gave more than 1800 concerts.
Balamurali boycotted Andhra Pradesh during the tenure of NT Rama Rao as chief minister when he thought he was denied his due. He did not perform on Telugu soil for a number of years as a sign of protest. Later he was persuaded to give concerts in Hyderabad and other cities and towns of Andhra Pradesh. He received the Wisdom Man of the Year award in 1992. He was instrumental in launching several institutes including Academy of Performing Arts and Research in Switzerland.