Staff Reporter

A musician of high repute, a great guru: Balamuralikrishna

CHENNAI: Several senior musicians gathered to honour veteran musician Nedunuri Krishnamurthy on his 80th birthday celebration on Sunday.

Speaking at the function, renowned musician M. Balamuralikrishna described the veteran as a musician of high repute, a musicologist and a great guru. He recalled a concert of Mr. Krishnamurthy's in which he accompanied him on the violin. "He sang a difficult Ragam, Tanam, Pallavi to test me but I somehow managed to cope," he reminisced in jest.

Chief Guest for the function Sadguru. K. Sivanandamurthy offered his blessings to the senior musician.

Musicologist Pappu Venu Gopala Rao, who spoke on Mr. Krishnamurthy's contribution in popularising saint Annamacharya's compositions, highlighted the beauty of pieces such as `Muddugare Yashoda' and `Nanati Bratuku' tuned by Mr. Krishnamurthy in the Kurinji and Revathi ragas respectively.

He said the tunes emoted the feel of the lyrics very aptly.

N. Murali, Managing Director, The Hindu , and President of The Music Academy, said Mr. Krishnamurthy's renditions were soulful and gamaka-rich.

"Modesty personified"

His effort in tuning Annamacharya's compositions, notating and documenting them was noteworthy, he added. "He is simplicity and modesty personified," he said. Mr. Krishnamurthy felicitated artistes who accompanied him in his concerts over the last six decades. He recalled his first concert in 1951 after which violin maestro Lalgudi G. Jayaraman congratulated him and offered to play for him.

"That incident set an auspicious beginning to my career in music and I owe half my success to accompanists like him," he noted.

Violin greats such as M.S. Gopalakrishnan and M. Chandrasekharan; Mridangam stalwarts such as Palghat. R. Raghu, Vellore Ramabhadran and Guruvayur Dorai were among those honoured.

Mr. Krishnamurthy said, "This is not a mere function. It is a celebration of the guru-shishya tradition of classical music. It is due to the Almighty's and my guru's blessings that I have been able to contribute in my own small way."