Melkaveri Balaji

Melakaveri K. Balaji son of Mr and Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Krihnamurthy, and K. Krishnamurthy, graduated with a B.S. in English Literature from the Madras University. He hails from a family of musicians; his Father K. Krishnamurthy is a professional mridangam player; his grandfather, Melakaveri A. Kalyanaraman was a renowned Kanjira player. His younger brother is also a full time performing violin artist in Carnatic music.

Melakaveri K. Balaji had all of his training in Mridangam, (both initial and advanced levels of training) beginning at the age of 9 for well over 5 years, under the tutelage of his Father, renowned Mridanga Vidwan Melakaveri K. Krishnamurthy; he considers him not only as his Father but also as his Guru as well.

Balaji has been serving as a professional Mridangam Artist since he was 14 years old regularly accompanying almost all Senior/Junior Vidwans and Vidhushis both in their vocal and instrumental music concerts all over India and abroad.

Balaji has accompanied Mastroes like Padmabushan Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna, Sri T.V. Sankaranarayanan, Lalgudi Sri G. Jayaraman and G.J.R. Krishnan, Sri T.N. Krishnan, Sri M.S. Gopalakrishnan, Sri M. Chandrasekaran, Dr. N. Ramani, just to name a few.

He has been regularly participating as Mridangam accompaniment to music concerts held in the December season of every year in organizations such as Music Academy, Bharat Kalachar, Indian Fine Arts Academy, Narada Gana Sabha, Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Karthik Fine Arts, Kapali Fine Arts, Nungambakkam Cultural Academy Trust and so on.

He is also a regular participant in the music concerts arranged by Bharat Cultural Integration Committee, which are telecast by Doordarshan Kendra, Madras as national telecast. He has also participated in several Lecture-Demonstration concerts hosted by SPICMACAY.

His accomplishments include:

• Adjudged by the Music Academy, Madras in their Annual Music Competition in 1987 as the Best Mridangam Player.

• Awarded the Best Junior Mridangam Player’s Special Price Award by the Music Academy, Madras, in their Annual Music Festival and Concerts for his accompaniment in a music concert in December 1993.

• Was conferred the prestigious title of YUVA KALA BHARATI by BHARAT KALACHAR, Madras, in 1995 by Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr. M. Balamurali Krishna in the presence of Sangeetha Kalanidhis, Dr. Semmangudi R. Srinivasa Iyer and Smt. M. S. Subbalakshmi.

• Serves as B-High Grade Artist in Mridangam for All India Radio, Madras and has been regularly playing for concerts in All India Radio and Doordarshan Kendra, Madras.

Travel Abroad:

• In Spring, 2000, Melakaveri K. Balaji accompanied Mrs. Mysore Nagamani Srinath in her full fledged North American tour (U.S.A. and Canada), performing at 26 cities throughout the United States and at 3 locations in Canada, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto.

• In 1994, Melakaveri K. Balaji accompanied the great Violin Maestro, Padmasri M.S.

Gopalakrishnan and his daughter, Mrs. Narmada in their Violin Duet Performance in Hong Kong and Singapore.

• In 1995, Balaji toured Australia and New Zealand as Mridangam accompaniment to vocal music concert of Smt. S. Sowmya.

• In 1995, Balaji also accompanied Sowmya on a tour to Hong Kong, Singapore, U.S.A., Canada, and Malaysia.