Indian classical stalwart M Balamurali Krishna passes away

The country mourns loss of another prodigy

Culture

November 24, 2016

/ By / New Delhi



The singer added a lot of feathers to his cap over his lifetime including two National Film Awards, the Mahatma Gandhi Silver Medal from UNESCO in 1995, the Padma Vibhushan and Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by France in 2005

The singer added a lot of feathers to his cap over his lifetime including two National Film Awards, the Mahatma Gandhi Silver Medal from UNESCO in 1995, the Padma Vibhushan and Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by France in 2005

Mangalampalli Balamurali Krishna, the iconic Carnatic vocalist and musician, who was hailed for his creative skills, passed away in Chennai on November 22. He was 86.

Legendary Indian Carnatic musician, vocalist, instrumentalist, playback singer and composer Mangalampalli Balamurali Krishna (M Balamuralikrishna), who charmed millions of fans for over forty years, passed away in Chennai on November 22 at the age of 86, after being diseased for a long time.

Balamurali, known for his lyrical voice, performed at more than 18,000 concerts across the world including the US, Canada, the UK, Italy, France, Russia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and Middle East among others.

He produced assorted numbers for many south Indian movies and also played diverse Indian instruments, including the Indian violin and the mridangam drum, an ancient instrument.

Many of his hits included songs in his native tongue, Telugu, and other Indian languages including Kannada, Sanskrit, Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, Bengali and Punjabi. Himadri Sute Pahimam from the Kannada movie Hamsageete, Thyagaraja Kirti Nagumomu and Moksha Mukalada from the Malayalam film Swathi Thirunaal, are amongst some of his most appreciated compositions.

The singer added a lot of feathers to his cap over his lifetime including two National Film Awards, the Mahatma Gandhi Silver Medal from UNESCO in 1995, the Padma Vibhushan and Chevalier des Arts et Lettres by France in 2005 for his contribution to music.

Leaving a Carnatic void

Balamurali was born in the south-eastern state of Andhra Pradesh and performed his first concert when he was just six-years-old. Thus, the icon is rightly considered a child prodigy and many renowned personalities, politicians and maestros are considering this a personal loss.

Carnatic music is commonly associated with southern India, which includes the primary subgenres of Indian classical music that evolved from ancient Hindu traditions and Hindustani classical music.

Vocal renditions are the area of focus as far as Carnatic music is concerned and most compositions are written to be sung, and even when played on instruments, they are meant to be performed in singing style.
Swara (sound of a note), raga (melodic formula) and tala (rhythmic cycles) form the base of both Carnatic and Hindustani music, which generally consists of a main performer and an instrumentalist.

Today, when Carnatic music is presented by musicians worldwide during concerts and recordings, the void created by the demise of Balamurali Krishna, can’t be filled.

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