Vidwan Sri B Krishnamurthy is no more

Remembering musicians of the recent past
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K Nagarajan
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#1 Vidwan Sri B Krishnamurthy is no more

Post by K Nagarajan »

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#2 Re: Vidwan Sri B Krishnamurthy is no more

Post by CRama »

Great vidwan. Condolences to his family and disciples. Om Shanthi.

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#3 Re: Vidwan Sri B Krishnamurthy is no more

Post by thanjavooran »

Condolences to his family and disciples. Ohm shanthi !
20 09 2021

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#4 Re: Vidwan Sri B Krishnamurthy is no more

Post by thanjavooran »

A tribute:

Tributes to Vidwan B. KRISHNAMOORTY (Born 24 August 1932- Died 19 September 2021), multifaceted Artist, an Indian Carnatic Classical Musician, a VOCALIST, MUSICOLOGIST, RESEARCHER and a passionate GURU, on his Sad Demise today. He was born at Padarakudi near Karaikudi, where he lived with his maternal grandfather for a while. He had three brothers, the eldest being the late Sangita Kalanidhi B. Rajam Iyer. Krishnamoorthy’s biological mother gave him in adoption to her childless elder sister Ananthalakshmi. Fond of music, he liked to listen to the songs of S.G. Kittappa, Subbiah Bhagavatar and others. The Sri Rama Navami Utsavam was a grand annual celebration at home. Attracted to the Bhajana paddhati, the child started learning the songs when he was five years old from Atmanatha Iyer and Tirukoshtiyur Iyengar.

After a few years, Krishnamoorthy moved to Karaikudi with his grandfather. It was in Karaikudi that the foundation for serious Music and Sanskrit was laid for him. His school teacher Ramanatha Iyer, father of Mridanga Vidwan Karaikudi Mani, who promoted many young musicians, developed a liking for young Krishnamoorthy and encouraged him. In Karaikudi, Krishnamoorthy learnt Music from Rama Iyengar, a disciple of Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, and Sanskrit from Sundara Sastri at Koviloor near Karaikudi. On the invitation of his brother B. Rajam Iyer, who was ten years older, Krishnamoorthy came to Madras in 1947 and started learning Music from him in Gurukulavasam. Krishnamoorthy learnt from Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar as well.

Krishnamoorthy joined the Central College of Carnatic Music in 1950, when Musiri Subramania Iyer was the principal and Tiruppamburam Swaminatha Pillai (Flute), T.K. Rangachari, T. Brinda, and Karaikudi Muthu Iyer (Mridangam) were faculty members. He took up Violin as a subsidiary subject taught by Tiruvalangadu Sundaresa Iyer and Varahoor Muthuswami Iyer. After he completed his course in the Central College of Carnatic Music, Dr. V. Raghavan, Secretary of the Music Academy – whose daughters Priyamvada and Nandini were B. Krishnamoorthy’s first students – arranged his appointment as a teacher at the Model School, run by the Academy, with a scholarship to train under Mudikondan Venkatarama Iyer. Krishnamoorthy learnt from him for almost twenty years. Meanwhile, he also received a Govt. of India fellowship for specialising in Pallavi singing, which too he studied under Mudikondan’s guidance and learnt some very rare Pallavis. Mudikondan advised Krishnamoorthy who knew Sanskrit, to study texts like Sangeeta Ratnakara, Sangraha Choodamani, Sangeeta Makarandam, and Brihaddesi.

Krishnamoorthy presented his first concert at the Academy in the afternoon slot at the Annual Conference in 1958. Krishnamoorthy also received specialised training from Umayalpuram Rajagopala Iyer (a direct descendant of Tyagaraja), and T. Jayammal of the Dhanammal family. Krishnamoorthy soon joined as a teacher in the Teachers College of Music run by the Music Academy. R. Vedavalli was his colleague when he taught there (1959-78). He married Shantha in 1959, and the couple have a son and a daughter. In 1967, Krishnamoorthy was appointed inspector for music schools in Tamil Nadu by the Madras State Sangeeta Nataka Sangam. He applied for a job with the Tamil Nadu Govt. Music College in response to an advertisement in 1978. A panel comprising S. Balachandar, Sirkazhi Govindarajan, principal Sandhyavandanam Srinivasa Rao, T.N. Krishnan and Justice Gokulakrishnan selected him for the post of lecturer. He taught all levels of students including those learning Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi. A lecturer from1978 to 1988, he regularly presented concerts at the Music Academy and won the Tambura Prize there. For about nine months Krishnamoorthy was also the Principal-in-charge there before he was transferred to the college in Madurai in 1989 as the Principal, from where he retired in 1991. Krishnamoorthy was so fond of teaching that he immersed himself in it even after retirement. Among his VIP private students was J. Jayalalithaa. M.L. Vasanthakumari was known to have taken his help in Pallavi singing. He was sometimes asked to teach special aspects of music in the Teachers’ College of the Music Academy. Even today he helps researchers in music.

Krishnamoorthy’s repertoire is vast, including compositions of rare and less known authors. He has been a tireless researcher too, judging from his publication of many rare musical documents. He learnt Padams and Javalis from T. Balasaraswati’s mother T. Jayammal of the Veena Dhanammal family. He is proficient in Tamil, English, Sanskrit, Hindi and Telugu. His ability to lucidly present and demonstrate a variety of subjects won him acclaim. Some of his lecdems include Mahavaidyanatha Sivan’s 72 melaragamalika, the Tillanas of Pallavi Gopala Iyer, Arunachala Kavi’s compositions, Mazhavai Chidambara Bhagavatar’s compositions, rare Tillanas in 108 Talas, rare Talas such as the Simhanandana tala, Pratapasekhara, Ragavardhana, Shatkala Pallavi, Swarasthana Sruti Parimanam (all for the Music Academy), Raga Lakshanas (for Carnatica) and compositions of Swarna Venkatesa Dikshitar (Indian Fine Arts Society). Composing music for Sanskrit compositions and Stotras is another facet of Krishnamoorthy, exemplified by his tuning of Dr. V. Raghavan’s song Chandrasekharam on the Kanchi Mahaswami, in Keeravani, the Swami’s favourite raga. M.S. Subbulakshmi and Maharajapuram Santhanam both presented it in concerts. From the beginning he composed music for the Sanskrit dramas produced by the Samskrita Ranga founded by Dr. V Raghavan.

After retirement, Krishnamoorthy was invited to teach at Kalakshetra, Chennai. He was invited by Sandhyavandanam Srinivasa Rao to teach at the Mysore University and by Dr. Sripada Pinakapani to the Andhra University in Visakhapatnam, but he did not accept any of those offers. He has trained many artists like Sirkazi Sivachidambaram, Sikkil Gurucharan, Amritha Murali, Kunnakudi Balamuralikrishna and Sumithra Vasudevan, to name a few, the last four in ragam-tanam-pallavi singing under the Guru-Sishya Project of the Sangeet Natak Akademi. He has several recordings to his credit including one of Ashtapadi (with R. Vedavalli), Tyagaraja Vibhakti Kritis of Muthuswami Dikshitar, Gurubhyo Namaha, Divyanama Sankeertanam, Navagraha Keertanas of Swarna Venkatesa Dikshitar, and the Tamil Compositions of Swarna Venkatesa Dikshitar. He has notated all the compositions of Swarna Venkatesa Dikshitar.

There is an unforgettable incident when he and Rajam Iyer went to Orikkai where Chandrasekharendra Saraswati, the pontiff of the Kanchi Kamakoti Math was camping. The sage softly sang Kamalambike in Todi – the Dhyana keertanam of Muthuswami Dikshitar’s Kamalamba Navavaranam. He asked the two of them to sing the kriti. Krishnamoorthy regards singing in the presence of the Paramacharya as a great blessing. Krishnamoorthy is the recipient of several awards and honours like the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Sangita Kala Acharya title from the Music Academy, Madras, Best Musician award from the Tamilnadu Govt. Music College, and Best Veteran Vocalist from Kartik Fine Arts, and Sangeeta Ratnakara from Bhairavi Fine Arts Society, Cleveland. He is an A-grade artist of All India Radio and has been performing regularly for over six decades. He has composed the music for several devotional and light classical productions of All India Radio and also rendered some of them. He was serving as guide and resource person for several musicians working on fellowships and special projects.

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#5 Re: Vidwan Sri B Krishnamurthy is no more

Post by rajeshnat »

Thank you lovely tribute, Who is the author of this writeup .

He was known for his wide repertoire, the encouragement that he has received that too even at the age of his 48 , he getting a job in Music College Madras and from there on almost till he passed away he earned the respect . I have heard his elder brother B Rajam Iyer but not him .

If some one puts a recording of his concert that would be great. Om Shanthi, today (Sept 20)there was a photo obituary in The Hindu

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#6 Re: Vidwan Sri B Krishnamurthy is no more

Post by rrkaushik »

Was saddened to hear about the demise of this great scholar-musician. I did not have the opportunity to listen to his concerts live but studied his wonderful music classes through the Sustaining-Sampradaya series in great detail. Having listened to his illustrious brother B. Rajam Iyer, Sri Krishnamurthy's music still appeared quite a bit different, having imbibed a great many different influences.

See this Poorvikalyani Ekkalathilum class for a brilliant sample: ...

His attention of gamaka detail, raga-bhava and wonderful teaching made these lessons memorable for me personally and I am sure discerning students all over the world.


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