Mangalampalli Balamurali Krishna (transliterated variously as M. Balamuralikrishna, Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna, M. Balamurali Krishna; Telugu: మంగళంపల్లి బాలమురళిక్రిష్ణ) b. Sankaraguptam, Andhra Pradesh, India, July 6, 1930) is a legendary Carnatic Music vocalist and musician. He has also composed a number of songs.
Balamuralikrishna was named Murali Krishna at birth. Musunuri Suryanarayana Murty Bhagavatar, a distinguished Harikatha performer, gave the prefix ‘Bala’ to the young Muralikrishna. This title has stuck to him ever since. Balamuralikrishna was a child prodigy and started performing vocal concerts from the age of five. His father was a well known musician and could play the flute, violin and the veena and his mother was an excellent veena player. Balamuralikrishna thus began his musical career at a very young age. He soon mastered a variety of instruments. He can play the violin, viola, khanjira, veena, mridangam and other instruments. He has been awarded the All India Radio’s “Top Grade” for seven different performance areas and is also the only musician ever to win National Awards in India for classical music, music direction and film playback singing.
Not merely content with his fame as a concert vocalist, very soon Balamurali proved his immense versatility by playing the Kanjira, Mridangam, Viola and Violin. When he was barely 14 years old, he composed Raganga-Ravali, a detailed work on the 72 Melakarta scheme. He mastered all the 72 melakarta ragas by the age 16 and had composed kritis in all of them by then.
Poet composer and musicologist, balamurali krishna has restored the trinity’s composition to their original whole. he represents a new era in carnatic music. like the galaxy of giants before him, he has helped in tha preservation of the musical heritage in his own way
Balamurali Krishna has been invited to give concerts in almost every country in the world, including USA, Canada, UK, Italy, France, Russia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Middle East etc. He has given more than 26,000 performances throughout the world.
While his native tongue is Telugu, he sings not only in Telugu but also in Kannada, Sanskrit, Tamil etc.
Top Hindustani musicians have collaborated with him in “jugalbandhis” (duets): including Bhimsen Joshi, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and Kishori Amonkar, among others.
He appeared as featured soloist with an award-winning British choir, performing the “Gitanjali Suite” with words from Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel Prize-winning poetry and music by Dr. Joel, the noted UK-based Goan composer. His clear diction in several languages prompted an invitation to record Tagore’s entire Rabindra Sangeet compositions in Bengali, preserving them for posterity. He has sung in French, and even ventured into jazz fusion, collaborating with the top Carnatic percussion teacher, Sri T.H. Subash Chandran, in a concert for Malaysian royalty.
He has recently become increasingly interested in music therapy, and now performs only occasionally. He gave its authorization to S. Ram Bharati to found “Academy of Performing Arts and Research” in Switzerland and is also working on music therapy. He established the ‘MBK Trust’ with the objective of developing art and culture and for carrying out extensive research into Music Therapy. A dance and music school, ‘Vipanchee’ is a part of this Trust and is run by his managing trustee Kalaimamani Saraswati.
Omkaara Pranava- Shanmukhapriya (Padha Varnam), Amma Aanandha dhaayini-Gambheera Naattai (Varnam), Ye Naadhamu-Naatai (Varnam), Sri Sakala Ganadhipa Palayamam-Aarabhi, Mahadevasutham-Aarabhi, Gam Gam Ganapathim-Ganapathi, Ganaadhipam-Nattai, Pirai Aniyum Perumaan-Hamsadhwani, Uma Sutham Namaami-Sarvasri, Mahaneeya Namasulivae-Sumukham, Mahaneeya Madhura Moorthae-Mahathi, Guruni Smarimpumo-Hamsavinodhini, Heera Ganapathiki-Surati, Varuha Varuha-Panthuvaraali, Thunai Neeyae-Charukesi, Nee Dhaya Raadha-Poorvikalyani, Gathi Neevae-Kalyani, Sadhaa Thava Paadha-Shanmukhapriya, Thillana-Brundhaavani, Thillana-Chakravaaham, Thillana-Dhwijaawanthi, Thillana-Kunthalvaraali, Thillana-Kathanakuthoohalam, Thillana-Garudadhwani, Thillana-Behag (On Sri Thyagaraja), Thillana-Raagamaalika (Amruthavarshini/Mohanam/Kaanada/Hindholam), Thillana-Raagamaalika (Taaya Ragamaalika-Based on Sruthi Bedham), Thillana-Raagamaalika (Pancha “Priya” Raagas-Gathi Bedham), Maamava Gaana Lola-Rohini (Using Two Madhyamas), Maa Maanini-Thodi (Swara Saahithyam), Gaana Lola – Raagamaalika (on Thirupathi Venkateswara), Bruhadheeswara-Kaanada (on Tanjore Bruhadheeswara).
Dr.M.Balamuralikrishna (Gam Ganapathim)
Dr.M.Balamuralikrishna (Sri Rama Naamam)
Balamurali Sir remembers watching a video of me making some students sing this song along with me, uploaded at youtube by my friend musiquebox and suddenly asks us to join him, much to our surprise and delight. It is a composition by Bhadrachala Ramadas, tuned by Balamurali Sir in Shankarabharanam and set to Thisra Gathi Eka Thaalam.