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M Balamuralikrishna: The man who gave Carnatic music a new life

M Balamuralikrishna is an Indian musician, carnatic vocalist, composer who was born in Andhra Pradesh in the year 1930. His father was a renowned musician and his mother was a Veena player. Balamuralikrishna’s mother died at an early age.

M Balamuralikrishna: The Child prodigy

Sensing his inclination towards music, his father put him under the aegis of Parupalli Ramakrishnayya Pantulu. Murali learned carnatic music here and gave his first on-stage concert at the age of eight. Witnessing his raw talent at such an early age, he was given the title of “Bala”.

M Balamuralikrishna as Narada in Bhakt Prahlada - Mythical India
Balamuralikrishna was more of a child prodigy having mastered all 72 melakartha ragas by the age of 15. The musician in him was still not content and thus he started playing instruments like Violin, Kanjira and Mridangam. This musician has more than 400 compositions to his credit. He is one those few people who have composed in the whole range of 72 Melakarta Ragas. His compositions cover the entire universe of carnatic music. Balamuralikrishna has done playback singing in several films in Telugu, Kannada and several other languages. He also acted in movies making his debut in Telugu movie Bhakta Prahlada as Narada. He continued acting and worked in a couple of Telugu and Tamil movies.

Awards and recognition

For the contribution, M Balamuralikrishna was awarded Padma shri and Padma Vibhushan by the government of India. He was also accorded Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in the year 2005. His foray into playback singing and music direction in movies earned him 2 National film awards.

M Balamuralikrishna Biography

Name M. Balamuralikrishna
Full Name Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna
Occupation Carnatic vocalist
Known for Carnatic vocalist and musician who also worked as a playback singer, composer and actor

Personal Life

Important dates Birthday: 6 July 1930

Death: 22 November 2016

Important places Birth place: Sankaraguptam, East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh, India

Death place: Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Nationality Indian
Educational qualifications  
Family Father: Pattabiramayya

Mother: Smt.Suryakanthamma



Children: Son- 3, Daughter- 3

Professional life

Teacher Parupalli Ramakrishnayya Pantulu
Basic Career Information M Balamuralikrishna has more than 400 compositions to his credit. He has also sung in several movies in Telugu, Sanskrit, Tamil and Kannada. He also made his acting debut with the Telugu movie Bhakta Prahlada as Narada. M Balamuralikrishna actually started his career at the age of six and had given more than 25,000 concerts worldwide
Achievements and


1.       Padma Shri

2.       Padma Vibhushan

3.       Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Government of France

4.       National Film Awards

5.       Kerala State Film Award

6.       Sangeet Natak Akademi Award

7.       Sangeetha Kalanidhi

8.       Sangeetha Kalasikhamani by The Fine Arts Society, Chennai

9.       Mahatma Gandhi Silver Medal from UNESCO

10.   Natya Kalasikhamani

11.   Sangeetha Kalasarathy

Lesser Known Facts

1.       M Balamuralikrishna was named Murali Krishnan by his parents. The prefix Bala was added later by a Hari Katha performer Shri Musunuri Satyanarayana

2.       His father was also a very popular flute player while his mother was a renowned Veena player

3.       His mother died when he was only 2 weeks old after which he was raised by his father

4.       He used to play Violin, Viola, Veena, Khanjira and Mrudangam

5.       M Balamuralikrishna was the only Indian musician to win National Award for classical music, playback singing and music direction

6.       He also composed music for the first Sanskrit film Adi Sankara

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