M. Balamuralikrishna, Carnatic music legend, dies at 86; a glimpse at profile
On November 22, at the age of 86, Carnatic musician M. Balamuralikrishna passed away in Chennai. According to reports, he had been unwell for the last few days. The music icon started out as Murali Krishna and hailed from Sankaraguptam in East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh. His talent was evident at an early age when he started singing at 6 and gave his first performance at the age of 8. During his first concert, he was spotted by Harikatha performer Musunuri Suryanarayana Murty Bhagavatar. During this fateful meeting between the two artistes, Bhagavatar added 'Bala' to the eight-year-old's first name and from then on, he became Balamuralikrishna. (YouTube)
Among the veteran musician's many achievements is his innovation of the tala system along with Saptha Mukhi, Thri Mukhi, Panchamukhi and Nava Mukhi. Not only was he a talented singer, but he could also play the viola, kanjira and mridangam. He even starred in a Telegu devotional film Bhakta Prahalada in 1967 and sung a few of the songs on its soundtrack. (Reuters)
In 1991, Balamuralikrishna was awarded the Padma Vibhushan and throughout his career he won national awards for best music director and best playback singer. In 2005, the French Government bestowed the honour of Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres on the singer, according to a report by Indian Express. (YouTube)
A versatile musician, his compositions ranged from melakartha ragas to film music. One of his most famous compositions was Mile Sur Mera Tumhaara. Further, many of his songs were composed in different languages, including Hindi, Sanskrit, Bengali, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Punjabi, as well as his native language Telugu. Throughout his career, he gave approximately 2,500 concerts. (YouTube)
Aside from his contribution to music, the veteran was also involved in music therapy and established the MBK trust to research the effects of music therapy as well as developing arts and culture. Y Prabhu, secretary of Krishna Gana Sabha, said, “He was a prodigy and was very innovative. He self-enjoyed his music and there is no one to match him currently.” (Indian Express)
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