Missed an auspicious opportunity: A tribute to Dr. Mangalampalli Balamurali Krishna

Dr. Bala Murali Krishna
Dr. Mangalampalli Balamurali Krishna (1930-2016)

Last year when we met Brahmashri. Malladi Chandrasekhara Sastry garu (a wealth of knowledge) and got his blessings, we have felt very blissful. That’s when we have also thought we should go to Chennai and seek blessings of Dr. Mangalampalli Balamurali Krishna, The expert of classical music. It’s saddened that we have missed this auspicious and divine opportunity to seek his blessings with his sudden demise earlier this afternoon at his residence in Chennai.

I am no one to say a note about Dr. Balamurali garu but here is a some noes that I have compiled from Internet:

Carnatic vocalist, playback singer and composer Manganapalli Balamuralikrishna, who burst into the music world as a child prodigy, died on Tuesday. He was 86 and is survived by his wife, four sons and two daughters.

A native of East Godavari district of the erstwhile Madras Presidency, his father Pattabiramaiah was a musician and his mother Sooryakanthamma was a veena player. He gave his first concert when he was nine and the quality of his music is explained by the fact that All India Radio (AIR), Chennai, included in the list of A-grade artists even when he was a child artist.

He was also an accomplished violinist and once accompanied Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar.

Balamuralikrishna learnt violin by listening to his father playing the instrument.

“Since my father was against me playing violin, I created my own instrument. Once I summoned courage and played his instrument in his absence. When questioned by my father I admitted and played Bhairavi ada thala varnam. My father was impressed and allowed me to play the instrument,” he had recalled in his biography Sangita Perunkadal, penned by Ranimynthan.

A native of Sankaraguptam, East Godavari District, Balamuralikrishna was a 5th generation descendant of the saint-composer Tyagaraja in the guru-shishya tradition, according to DNA. Known and celebrated as one of India’s greatest vocalists, Balamuralikrishna was well-versed in playing the violin, the mridangam and the kanjira.

Balamuralikrishna accompanied Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar and Chittoor Subramania Pillai on the violin in 1944, notes Sruti magazine. He also gradually accompanied other singers including Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Voleti Venkateswarlu, KV Narayanaswamy. He also acompanied Lalgudi Jayaraman on the kanjira.

A Playlist of Dr. Balamurali Krishna garu:

Although born into a family of musicians — his mother was a veena player and his father was skilled in the flute, the violin and the veena as well — Balamuralikrishna never had any formal education, according to an India Today report. He performed his first concert at seven and first radio concert when he was nine.

Balamuralikrishna was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1991 and made Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government in 2005.

Balamurali Krishna was born in Sankaraguptam, East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh state.[3] His father was a well known musician and could play the flute, violin and the veena and his mother was an excellent veena player. His mother died when he was an infant and Balamuralikrishna was raised by his father. Observing his penchant for music, his father put him under the tutelage of Parupalli Ramakrishnayya Pantulu, a direct descendant[4][5] of the shishya parampara of Tyagaraja.

Under his guidance, the young Balamuralikrishna learned Carnatic music. At the age of eight, Balamuralikrishna gave his first full-fledged concert at a Thyagaraja Aradhana, Vijayawada. Musunuri Suryanarayana Murty Bhagavatar, a distinguished Harikatha performer, saw the musical talent in the child and gave the prefix ‘Bala'[6] (child) to the young Muralikrishna. This title has stuck ever since and Balamuralikrishna has been known so.

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.[7] 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.

Source: Wikipedia on Dr. Balamurali Krishna

Endaro Mahanubhavulu song by Dr. Balamurali Krishna garu

May the departed soul be rest in peace. We have indeed missed an opportunity to seek blessings from a person who was born for a reason. World has lost yet another great singer.

My request to all parents, let’s please encourage our children to learn classical music. That is probably only way we could pray our respects to people like Dr. Balamurali Krishna garu, Dr. MS Subbalakshmi garu etc.,

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