Padmabhushan Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna was an Indian Carnatic vocalist. Born on July 6, 1930 at Sankaraguptam village in Rajolu Taluk in the East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh, he inherited the musical traits of his parents. His father Mangalampalli Pattabhiramayya was a famous flutist and a music teacher, and mother Suryakanthama was a veena artiste. His father put him under the guidance of Parupalli Ramakrishnayya Pantul, with whom he reached the heights of fame in the field of Carnatic music.
He performed first at the age of eight at the Sadguru Arandhana Utsava at Vijayawada. Besides being a versatile singer, he was a master in playing the Mridangam and the Violin.
Dr. M. BalamuraliKrishna has enriched Carnatic music with his compositions and created new ragas like Mahati, Sumukham, Trisakthi, Sarvashri, Omkari, Janasamodini, Manorama, Rohini, Vallabhi, Lavangi, Pratimadhyamavathi, Sushama, etc. Dr. BalamuraliKrishna also proved his talent as a playback singer, music director and actor in several languages. He has more than 91 albums to his name.
Along with singing for more than 400 films in various languages including Telugu, Sanskrit, Kannada and Tamil, Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna also acted in some Telugu and Tamil films. He made his acting debut in Bhakta Prahlada in 1967 as Narada.
He bagged many titles and awards like ‘Gana Sudhakara’, ‘Gayaka Sikhamani’, ‘Sur Singar’, ‘Geeta Kala Bharati’, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, ‘Sangeetha Kalanidhi’, Padmashri and Padma Vibushan. He was given the title of Sangeetha Kalanidhi in the year 1978. He was chosen as the ‘Wisdom Man of the Year’ in 1992. Dr. Balamuralikrishna was awarded honorary Ph.D and D. Litt degrees by various universities.
The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh honoured him with the ‘Atma Gauravam’ award in 1997. He was an honourary citizen of Vijayawada and has a road named after him. He was a state musician in the states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and the ‘Asthana Vidwan’ of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, Sringeri Peetam and Anjenaya Swami Temple, Nanganallur. He founded the Academy of Performing Arts and Research in Switzerland and also worked on music therapy. He established the MBK Trust with the objective of developing art and culture and for carrying out extensive research in music therapy.
Dr. Balamuralikrishna passed away on November 22, 2016 at his Chennai residence.