Balamuralikrishna has unquestionably left an indelible mark in the world of music, when he passed away on 22nd November 2016, at the age of 86. The Carnatic vocalist, playback singer, and the composer he was, Balamuralikrishna did not just give life to the songs that he passionately sung but veritably linked the Classical Carnatic to the ragas he ingeniously composed.
Born in Sankaraguptam in East Godavari district of the former Madras Presidency, Balamurali learned his early lessons in music from his father, Pattabiramaiah, who was an acknowledged musician. His mother, Sooryakanthamma is said to have played her veena all the while she was pregnant with the music legend and thereby invited a lot of displeasures from her relatives for creating an air of inauspiciousness. But this did pave the path for the little musician; those little precious feeds of music were probably the most impeccable learning he got, hearing it incessantly from his mother’s womb.
His teacher, Parupalli Ramakrishnayya would indeed be a proud guru, when the young musician, performed his first concert at the age of 9. Andthe Guru surely would have been the most happiest in the years that followed, when the renowned All India Radio listed the young Balamurali as one of their A-grade artists at the age of 14 and later for all the National and International laurels and awards he won. Balamuralikrishna donned many hats. From being a composer, singer, lyricist’s,playback singer to playing many instruments like the violin, viola, mridanagm, kanjeera and the electronic tambura, his musical journey was indeed more than remarkable and undeniably inspiring for all generations of music lovers. For his irrefutable contribution to music, the Indian Government conferred him The Padma Vibushan and the French Government awarded him the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) in 2005.
Be it his all-time popular, Pancharatana Kritis, Jayadeva Ashtapatis or the Hindustani classical or even the Rabindra Sangeet, Balamuralikrishna, completely immersed himself in the music, breathing in the perfect bhava needed to give it a soul and make it completely poignant and genuine. The veteran musician did carve niche for himself composing over 400 compositions in various languages. His compositions span from Varnams, Kritis, Javalis, Thilanas to film music. Among the many film songs that he sung and composed and that bulked his music portfolio for its perfect renderings, are Oru Naal Pothuma from the evergreen classic Thiruvilayadal, Chinna Kannan Azhaikiran in Reetigowla raga from the movie Kavikuil, Nagummoand Thanga Ratham Vanthathu in Kalai Koil. His contribution to Malayalam films is again ineffaceable. Dhawani Prasadam from Bharatam, Pannegendra Shayana and Jamunakinnare from Swathi Thirunnal are definitely timeless classics. He won the national award for the "best playback singer" for the film Hamsageethe and the best music director award for the film Madhvacharya.
Words are seemingly less to write a befitting eulogy to the Great Master and surely he is anEntero Mhanu Bhavulu. We at Ente Salabhanjika, offer our humble tribute to the musical maestro.