Pithapuram mourns ‘Sangeeta Kalanidhi’ Nedunuri

December 08, 2014 10:41 pm | Updated 10:41 pm IST - PITHAPURAM:

Nedunuri Krishnamurthy

Nedunuri Krishnamurthy

The news about the death of ‘Sangeeta Kalanidhi’ Nedunuri Krishnamurthy on Monday came a shock to people of Pithapuram, the small town adjacent to Kakinada in East Godavari district, where the renowned musician spent his childhood and attracted towards classical music.

Being the fourth son of a traditional Brahmin family, Krishnamurthy was the first classical singer in the family and drew inspiration from his mother Vijayalakshmi in the childhood and learnt the basics in singing devotional songs from her.

“My father Apparao Bhagavathar was the first guru in classical music for Krishnamurthy. He taught ‘Varnams’ and ‘Krithis’ to young Krishnamurthy, who later joined the Maharajah’s College for Music in Vizianagaram and reached the pinnacle in classical music,” recalled Badam Madhava Rao, founder of Abhyudaya Foundation, that accorded a grand felicitation to Krishnamurthy in Pithapuram in 2000.

“Krishnamurthy’s music practice used to begin at 3 a.m. and continue for about five hours every morning. Music lovers of our street used to wake up to his ‘ragas’ and make a good beginning of their day,” recalled Akondi Madhusudana Rao, secretary of Sri Sangameswara Sangeeta Samakhya in Pithapuram. “He was the admirer of goddess Rajarajeswari in the local Kukkuteswara Swamy’s temple. He made his last visit to the temple on November 2 in a wheelchair with the help of two assistants. He handed over a donation of Rs. 1 lakh to the temple and sang a few ‘kritis’ for the goddess,” Mr. Madhusudan said.

“Krishnamurthy continued to be in touch with Pithapuram till his last days. Though he had not owned any properties here, he had a special place for this town,” said G. Srikrishnadevaraya Venkatarao, flutist from Pithapuram. Born in Mulapeta, a village on the seacoast near Kakinada, Krishnamurthy spent the first 13 years of his life in Pithapuram, where his farther Ramamurthy Panthulu was employed in the Pithapuram Maharajah’s estate.

“His services to the TTD’s Annamacharya Project were commendable. Singers like M.S. Subbulakshmi used to practise Annamacharya Keerthanas in his presence before giving the LP records,” recalled R.S.R. Anjaneyulu, a close relative of Krishnamurthy.

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