Remembering the legend Nedunuri
The doyen of Carnatic music Nedunuri Krishna Murthy was born in Pithapuram on October 19, 1927, in a Brahmin family. His father Ramamurthy Pantulu was an employee in the Pithapuram Rajahs’ court. His mother Vijayalakshmi trained him in music, imparting padams, asthapadis and Adhyatma Ramayana keerthanas.
The doyen of Carnatic music Nedunuri Krishna Murthy was born in Pithapuram on October 19, 1927, in a Brahmin family. His father Ramamurthy Pantulu was an employee in the Pithapuram Rajahs’ court. His mother Vijayalakshmi trained him in music, imparting padams, asthapadis and Adhyatma Ramayana keerthanas. All this made him join Maharajah’s College of Music, Vizianagaram, when he was a teen.
Stalwarts like Dwaram Venkataswamy Naidu and his brother Narasinga Rao Naidu taught him music. In a short span of time, he proved to be a good musician and at of Narasinga Rao Naidu’s behest he came under the tutelage of Sripada Pinakapani since 1949. S Pinakapanai played a pivotal role in shaping three world famous musicians, namely Nedunuri, Voleti and Nookala, who made a dent in the Carnatic music field.
Then onwards there was no looking back for Nedunuri. Later, he worked various government colleges of music and dance in Andhra Pradesh and retired as the principal of Ghantasala Government Music and Dance College, Vijayawada, in 1985. Fortune favoured him to work further still and to be the dean of Sri Venkateswara University and he was also chairman of the board of SV University, Tirupati. He was an Asthana vidwan of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham also.
During his tenure in Tirupati, he set music for some Annamacharya krithis, which the greatest musician of our era like MS Subbulakshmi also sang, and which became very popular in music circles. He was honoured with the titles Sangeetha Choodamani and Sangeeetha Kalanidhi in 1976 and 1991 respectively by the Madras Music Academy.
Of late, he had done a commendable job in popularising Ramadas keerthanas with full notation. His disciples and the rest of the music fraternity are also promoting Ramadasu Sahityam. Recently, he had undertaken a valuable job in tuning eleven compositions of Thyagaraja, which were procured by Acharya Veturi Anandamurthy and violin vidwan Akella Mallikarjuna Sharma from Madurai Sourashtra Grandhalayam.
Regarding Thyagaraja’s Ghanaraga Pancharatna keerthanas, Nedunuri provided revised notations, wherever it was required. His disciples Seshulatha Viswanath and Malladi Brothers made headway and proposed to sing the Pancharatna krithis in the revised format this year onwards.
It is to be admitted that after Mangalampalli Balamurali Krishna, Nedunuri proved his mettle in Madras music circles and won all-round appreciation. After Balamurali Krishna it was Nedunuri who performed at the Madras Music Academy annual programmes for over five decades.
Another noteworthy contribution he made was formulating guidelines to the Nada Neerajanam programme and other Bhakti music programmes of Sri Venkateswara Bhakti Channel (SVBC). It will be prudent on the part of music circles, organisations, State and Central governments to conduct commemorative programmes during the year.
By: Chivukula Rama Mohan