A melodious voice that resonated in Vijayawada

A melodious voice that resonated in Vijayawada

The city with a galaxy of music connoisseurs is yet to recover from shock over the demise of Carnatic music legend Dr Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna.

Renowned names of classical music from the city paid rich tributes to Late Dr Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna

The city with a galaxy of music connoisseurs is yet to recover from shock over the demise of Carnatic music legend Dr Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna. Even as his mortal remains were consigned to flames in Chennai on Wednesday, his disciples, contemporaries in the music field, friends and admirers still reeled under a pall of gloom.

The pleas from different sections to pay tributes to Dr Mangalampalli in a befitting manner gathers pace from different sections. Keeping in mind the undying love of music lovers for the maestro, Minister for Information and Public Relations Palle Raghunadha Reddy, who attended the funeral, informed the government’s decision to build a memorial somewhere in the State.

The Music College Old Student’s Association president Seeram Subrahmanyam urged the government to christen the Guntur Music College as Balamurali Music College. Although he was born in East Godavari district and led an envious and illustrious career fraught with many a milestone in the music world in Chennai, one cannot undermine Dr Mangalampalli’s association with the city.

As a fifth generation “shishya parampara” of saint-composer Thyagaraja, he embarked on his musical odyssey in Vijayawada while serving as principal of Ghantasala Music College. He gave several concerts also in the city. Balantrapu Rajanikanta Rao, a nonagenarian writer, composer and poet said he enjoyed a 75-year long bond with Dr Mangalampalli.

“He was a keen and inquisitive learner all through his life,” Rajanikanta Rao recalled while revealing an anecdote involving Balamuralikrishna. “It is still fresh in my mind when he came to me seeking my advice for improvisation of songs on Rabindranath Tagore before leaving for a concern in Shanti Niketan,” Rajanikanta said.

Annavarapu Ramaswamy, a music personality, said he felt privileged to be his contemporary in the music field. “Balamurali and I are part of disciples, who pursued career in music with several innings under the tutelage of our Guru Parupalli Ramakrishnaiah Pantulu about 75 years back,” says Ramaswamy with a feeling of pride on his face. He recollected that Balamurali composed kritis for 72 Melakartha Ragas at the age of 16.

Prominent mrudanga vidwan Sumathi Ramamohan Rao recollected her association with Balamurali and said she was a student when Balamurali was the principal of Ghantasala Music College. Mangalampalli was second to none in encouraging the amateurs. She said that it was really a pleasure to perform in the concert with Balamurali. “He liked humour very much and he tried to keep his team jovial all the time,” she said.

Dr D Vijaya Bhaskar, Director, Cultural affairs, Government of Andhra Pradesh said that there is no substitute for Balamurali. He shared a conversation, which he had with the Carnatic legend, ‘I don’t know music. However, music knows me’. Bhaskar said that the statement of that legendary musician still holds water, adding that the real tribute paid to Balamurali is only in the form of promoting classical music.

TS Ramachandra Rao, a music aficionado, stated that Balamurali has given a number of concerts in his house. He also said that he is the real Vaggeyakara, who wrote a number of Keerthanas and invented many ragas. Noted musician and founder of Swara Jhuri Modumudi Sudhakar said that his organisation was fortunate enough to felicitate Balamuralikrishna, who is considered to be the brand ambassador of Carnatic Music in 2010.
By Hemadri Prasad

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