Vijayawada

He is the man behind Govt. Music and Dance College

Denizens of Vijayawada in general and music lovers in particular will always remember music maestro Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna for one thing.

He was instrumental in making the Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao Music and Dance College a reality, which is presently a hub for cultural and devotional activities.

His contemporary Pemmaraju Surya Rao said: “Former Education Minister S.B.P.K. Pattabhi Rama Rao promised to start a music college in the city with Mr. Balamuralikrishna at its helm. He [Mr. Balamuralikrishna] was working in All India Radio (AIR) here in the 60s. The musician readily accepted the challenge and joined the college as principal and served for three years before moving to Madras to work in AIR as producer,” he says.

During his stint in AIR here, he gave a new dimension to the Bhakti Ranjani programme. “Mr. Balamuralikrishna was a prodigy. He never practised. In fact he practised while he was giving his concerts,” says Mr. Surya Rao.

The maestro began his musical journey in Vijayawada at the age of eight and his last concert was in 2015. He acquired the name ‘Bala’ in this very city. Harikatha Bhagavatar Musunuri Suryanarayana Murty spotted the talent and gave the prefix ‘Bala’ (child) to the young Muralikrishna. The city felicitated him and gave him an award ‘Saptaswara Samrat’.

Known as one of India’s greatest vocalists, Mr. Balamuralikrishna was well-versed in playing violin, mridangam and kanjira. He gave more than 25,000 concerts in India and abroad. “With god’s grace, I got an opportunity to be part of his 10,000 concerts,” says his close associate, Annavarapu Ramaswamy.

Ponnala Subrahmanya Bhatt says Mr. Balamuralikrishna knew the pulse of all generations. “He gave a new dimension to light music. And, it was not flimi music. He was a multi talented artist. He acted in films. Many film goers remember him for his role as Narada.”

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 3:56:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/He-is-the-man-behind-Govt.-Music-and-Dance-College/article16684273.ece

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