Thursday, December 15, 2016
Music world darkens with doyen’s exi
November 22 was a Black Day for the fans of legendary musician and composer Dr Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna, as he left his mortal presence.Born on July 6, 1930 in a small village called Sankaraguptam in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, India to Suryakantham and Pattabhiramayya, he was a child prodigy in Carnatic music. Initiated by his father Mangalampalli Pattabhiramayya, he received advanced training under famous Vidwan Prupalli Ramakrishnayya Pantulu, who was the fourth descendent in Guru-Shishya tradition of Saint Thyagaraja.
Dr Balamuralikrishna composed Kirtanams in 72 Melkartas (parent scales) at a young age of 14 with more than 400 other compositions. He has presented more than 25,000 concerts throughout the world.He was the ‘Astana Vidwan’ for the Tirupathi Venkateswara Temple, Vijayawada Durga Malleswaraswami Devastanam and other institutions. He has created many ragas including ‘Lavangi,’ ‘Ganapathi,’ ‘Sidhdi,’ ‘Mahathi,’ ‘Sumukham’ and ‘Prati Madhyamavati and Tala systems called ‘Trimukhi’ and ‘Pancha Mukhi,’ which are very complex in structure. Dr Balamuralikrishna was a specialist in singing Rabindra Sangeet, which is not bound by the rules of normal Indian classical music but challenges singers. He was also proficient in film, light and various other forms of music.
He was instrumental in establishing the All India Radio Station and the Government Music College in Vijayawada. He was a linguist, with fluency in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam Among the honours that he received were ‘Padma Vibhushan’ (second highest Civilian Award by the Indian government), ‘Sangeetha Kalanidhi (Chennai Music Academy), ‘Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Letters) (French government) and Doctorate degrees from several universities in India. Dr Balamuralikrishna was known for his clear diction, purity of notes and pitch and a flexible voice which travelled more than three octaves effortlessly. He visited New Zealand in 2005 and 2009. Dr Padma Govardhan is Director & Principal of the Auckland based Sangeetha Bharathi School of Music. She was an ardent disciple of Dr Balamuralikrishna. The School organised a musical programme in homage to the late maestro on December 3 at Wesley Community Centre, Sandringham. Dr Padma and about 30 students of the School rendered compositions popularised by the great musician. Vishnu Priya Mallela, Prathyusha Vikrant Kasibhatla and Dheeraj Venkatachalam were among the performers. The compositions included ‘Omkara Pranava,’ ‘Saraguna Gavumu’ (Varnam) and ‘Bhajami Sada,’ ‘Omkarakarini,’ ‘Hanuma Yanuma’ and Radhika Krishna (Kirtan). The supporting artistes included Syamala Hariharan on Violin and Balu Mallela and Dheeraj Venkatachalam on Mridangam.