Mangalampalli Balamurali Krishna was born in Sankaraguptam in East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.His father was a multi faced musician with expertise in both vocal skills and musical instruments like flute,violin,and veena,while his mother was an excellent instrumentalist with the Veena.He was bought up solely by his father as he lost his mother in his early age.Getting to know about his sons strong desire towards music,Balamurali Krishnas father took him to formal training in Carnatic music under the tutelage of Sri Parupalli Ramakrishna Pantulu,a direct descendent of Saint Tyagarajas (one of the trinity of Carnatic music) disciples.Young Balamurali showed exceptional talent in music that he conducted a complete concert at an early age of 8,at Tyagaraja Aradhana Festival (a famous music festival conducted in the reverence of Tyagaraja),in Vijayawada. Astonished with this young boys performance,the famous Harikatha performer Musunuri Suryanarayana Murty Bhagavatar awarded the title Bala (child) and since then,he is known by the name Balamurali Krishna.Starting a career in music from an early age of 5,Balamurali Krishna mastered all 72 Melakartha ragas,the fundamental ragas of Carnatic music by the time he was 15 and even started composing Kritis (Carnatic songs).His book Janakaraja Manjari was published in 1952 and is used as a reference book by Carnatic music students and enthusiasts.These lessons were later recorded and released as Raaganga Ravali,a nine volume series by Sangeetha Recording Company.He,thus started his musical life and continues to be active in this field till date.His musical career is incomparable with over 25,000 concerts across the globe,including USA,Canada,UK,Italy,France,Russia,Sri Lanka,Malaysia,Singapore,and Middle East.He carved out a distinctive niche with his unique way of rendering Carnatic composition through his mesmerizing voice.His excellent knowledge in music made him confident enough to try a new concept of jugalbandi (duet classical music performance of two solo musicians) and was the first person to conduct this type of concerts.He performed jugalbandis with Hindustani musicians like Pandit Bhimsen Joshi,Hariprasad Chaurasia,and Kishori Amonkar thus,facilitating national integration through music.He gave his voice to many evergreen songs in his mother tongue Telugu and composed songs in many other Indian languages,such as Kannada,Sanskrit,Tamil,Malayalam,Hindi,Bengali,and Punjabi.Being keen to preserve the heritage in its original form, Balamurali Krishna retained the compositions of the trinities of Carnatic music (Saint Tyagaraja,Muthuswami Dikshitar, and Shyama Shastry) in its original version.He has also resurrected many compositions of great Carnatic musicians like Sri Bhadrachala Ramadasu and Sri Annamacharya. He served in All India Radio Vijayawada and Hyderabad as music producer and launched Bhakthi Ranjani,an early morning show dedicated to devotional readings, whilst working as principal in Government Music College in Vijayawada.He got a transfer to Madras All India radio station and thereafter,settled there and still continues to live there.Balamurali Krishna has contributed to almost all categories of Carnatic music,like Varnams,Kirthis,Javalis,Thillans,and composed over 400 devotional songs in many languages,including Tamil,Telugu,and Sanskrit,based on the 72 fundamental Melakartha ragas.He has dedicated his life to learn about and experiment on Carnatic music and his research and experiments led to the creation of wonderful ragas like Ganapathi,Sarvashri,Mahati,Lavangi,Siddhi,Sumukham,Omkaari,etc.which stand for his search for new frontiers within Carnatic music.His experiments and innovations are not just limited to ragas but extend to talas (rhythmic patterns in Carnatic music). He has invented the concept of Gathi Bedam in the Sa Sabdha Kriya (actions that produce sound) part of the existing tala system.He has named his innovations in the tala system as Thri Mukhi,Panchamukhi,Saptha Mukhi,and Nava Mukhi.Balamurali Krishna is always keen to learn more about music and spread the knowledge amongst music aspirers.With a noble vision in mind to spread knowledge,he established the Academy of Performing Arts and Research in Switzerland,with its sister concern,the MBK Trust,dedicated to the development of art and culture and promote extensive research in music therapy.He is also a patron to a dance and music school Vipanchee, taken care by his trustee, Kalaimamani Saraswati.
National Film AwardsNational Film Awards -1987
National Film AwardsNational Film Awards -1976
Padma VibhushanPadma Vibhushan
Padma BhushanPadma Bhushan
Padma ShriPadma Shri