Temple town has fond memories of Balamuralikrishna

Carnatic vocalist M. Balamuralikrishna at a concert in Udupi in 2012.

Carnatic vocalist M. Balamuralikrishna at a concert in Udupi in 2012.  

The temple town of Udupi has fond memories of Carnatic vocalist, playback singer and composer Mangalamapalli Balamuralikrishna, who passed away on Tuesday.

Vijayanath Shenoy, founder-secretary of Sangeeth Sabha, one of the oldest classical music organisations in Udupi, told The Hindu that the Sabha had organised the first concert at Varadendra Kalamandir, Sri Lakshmi Venkatesh Temple, here in 1964. His accompanists were Lalagudi Jayaraman on violin and T.V. Gopalakrishnan on mridangam. “It was a packed house,” he said. The Sabha invited him two more times. It organised his concert at Varadendra Kalamandir in 1970. And again in 1983, his concert was held at the Syndicate Bank Golden Jubilee Hall. “Music lovers thronged to attend these concerts,” he said.

“Balamuralikrishna was a simple and a humane person. His music was divine. Normally, Hindustani music lovers do not like Carnatic music much. But many his music. He was innovative and a genius,” Mr. Shenoy said.

Aravinda Hebbar, retired professor and founder-secretary of Raga Dhana, another music organisation, said he remembered his concert held during the Third Paryaya (1984-86) of Vishwesha Tirtha Swami of Pejawar Mutt vividly. “I clearly remember his rendition of ‘Ragam Tanam Pallavi’ in Bilahari Raaga. People listened to it with rapt attention,” he said.

According to Prof. Hebbar, Balamuralikrishna also gave a concert at the annual Vadiraja Kanakadasa Festival at Muddana Mantapa in MGM College campus in the late 1970s. He was invited by the then Principal of MGM College late K.S. Haridasa Bhat. “This concert too attracted a large number of people,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 2:54:12 PM |

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