Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Uppala Shrinivas (Mandolin Shrinivas)

 power house of talent has descended on the orchard of Carnatic Music to make it resplendent in all its varied hues and nuances, weaving around it a magnetic field that not only sustains the audience interest but makes them crave for a little more of it. This sudden and brilliant outburst of musical wizardry is from the tender hands of Master Shrinivas who with a caress of the strings of the tiny instrument Mandolin sets the pace for a thoroughly enjoyable fare of Carnatic music that normally has come to be regarded as the preserve of a few savant grade senior musicians".

Shrinivas was born in Palakol in West Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh on February 28, 1969. As a very young boy Shrinivas was a normal child in school except that he seemed to have an ear for music. Then one day, when he was only six years old, his parents came home to find him playing on his father's mandolin. Inspired by the boy's interest in music, Satyanarayana taught his son what little music he knew, and Shrinivas began playing Carnatic music on the mandolin.

Subbaraju, a classically trained musician and a disciple of the famous musical stalwart Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, who had taught music to Shrinivas' father sensed the young boy's musical aptitude and decided to teach him classical music. He had no experience on the mandolin, so he would sing Carnatic music which Shrinivas would then play on the mandolin. He also learned Carnatic music from Shri Vasu Rao. In this way the young musician developed his own style.

Yes, indeed a star was born....

The Mandolin is essentially a staccato instrument, totally devoid of gamakka. That makes it almost alien to Carnatic needs. But that is all forgotten once you listen to Mandolin U. Shrinivas. What remains in the mind is music of the finest vintage.

The list of awards conferred on him is endless. And he is easily the most sought after artist. Between inhaling and exhaling, he gives a performance. It is also striking to note that he has none of the trappings of a star about him. Shy, silent, and reticent, he is rarely in the public eye, except on the podium.

Asked about his genius, he attributes it to God's grace. Behind this unassuming, humble boy lies the artist that comes once in an era. You may not be fond of Carnatic Music, but you can still not ignore Mandolin U. Shrinivas. You may look on him as a kind of Haley's Comet; a phenomenon if not an artist. Such is the spell he has cast on audiences, that there is invariably the residual close-circuit audience outside each hall. And he has travelled abroad innumerable times.

He is already one of the all-time greats. And he attributes it all to fate. It just cannot be. Fate did not make a U. Shrinivas - fate just laid a child's hand accidentally on a discarded Mandolin.


On 23rd January 1983, Thyagaraja Gana Sabha,Palakol(AP), honoured Shrinivas by conferring on the title "Mandolin Samrat"

The Government of Tamil Nadu appointed him as a State Artiste(Asthana Vidwan) in July 1984 .

Sangeetha kalanidhi Smt.M.S.Subbalakshmi, conferred the title "Sangeetha Bala Bhaskara" on Shrinivas on behalf of Sri Sankara Mutt. K.K.Nagar, Madras.

Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Madras honored Shrinivas by conferring its coveted title "Sangeetha Choodamani" in commemoration of the International year of the youth - 1985.

Sri Raja Lakshmi Foundation, Madras honored Shrinivas by conferring the title "Swara Kishore" at the moment of presentation of "Raja Lakshmi Foundation Award" to Shrinivas on 19th November, 1985.

On the 27th March 1987, Mother Terasa conferred the title "Andhra Ratna Kala Saraswathi" on Shrinivas on behalf of Andhra Pradesh Kalavedika, Hyderabad.

"Kalaranjini", Madras conferred the title "Nada Suda Nidhi" on Shrinivas on 30th July, 1987.

In December, 1989, The Music Academy, Madras honored Shrinivas with "Senior Vidwan Award" for his recital in the Academy's Music Festival.

On 1st October 1990, Shrinivas has been nominated the "Asthana Vidwan" (Resident Artiste) of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam by His Holiness Sri Jayendra Saraswathi.

On 15th December 1990, Karthik Fine Arts, Madras honored Shrinivas by conferring the title "Isai Peroli".

On 26th January 1991, Tamil Nadu Eyal Iasi Nataka Mantram honored Shrinivas by conferring the title "Kalaimamani".

On 24th June 1991, Shrinivas has been awarded the Top Rank of All India Radio for Carnatic Classical Mandolin Instrumental.

On 17th February 1992, Academy of Music, Bangalore honored Shrinivas with the "Sangeetha Ratna Mysore T.Chowdiah Memorial National Award 1992" in the distinguished presence of His Excellency, The Vice-President of India.

On 14th September 1992, Shrinivas has been awarded, the prestigious "National Citizen's Award-1991" His Excellency, The President of India. Shrinivas is the youngest person who was honored with such a prestigious award.

On 2nd January 1993, The Music Academy, Madras honored Shrinivas with the "Best Artiste Award".

On 25th April 1993, at Washington, Shrinivas has been awarded "The Honorary Citizenship" of the State of MARYLAND, USA by the Governor of MARYLAND.

On 16th July 1993, Sri Jayendra Baktha Samajam, honored Shrnivas, by conferring the title "Thanthri Nadhamani" through His Holiness Sri Jayendra Saraswathi.

On 1993 he has been given the "Billboard Award" for his CD compilation on Globe style records.

On 1st January 1994, Shrinivas received the "Rajiv Gandhi National Integration Award", instituted by the Indian Bank and Idhayam Pesukirathu.

On 1st January 1994, The Music academy, Madras awarded Shrinivas, "The Yogam Nagaswami Award" for the best artiste.

On 24th March 1994, he has been awarded "The Honorary Citizenship" of the District of Columbia, by the Mayor of Columbia District, U.S.A.

On 27th August 1995, Shrinivas has been nominated the "Asthana Vidwan" of Pillayar patti temple, Pillayarpatti.

On 5th January 1996, Sri Gnanananda Seva Samajam and Sri Bhagavatha Sammelan Samajam conferred on Shrinivas the title of "Sangeetha Kalamrutha".

On the 15th February 1996, Shrinivas received the title of "SAPTHA SWARA NAADAMANI" from His Holiness Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal of Sri Kanchi Kama Koti Peetham.

On 4th May 1996, Rasikapriya, the School of Indian Music, Sydney honored Shrinivas by conferring the title "Rasika Kala Ratna".

On 5th May 1996, Academy of Indian Music, Melbourne, conferred the title "Raaga Rytha Rishi" on Shrinivas.

On the 7th January 1997, Shrinivas has been awarded the "Sanatan Sangeet Puraskar" from the Sanatan Sangeet Sankriti, New Delhi.

On April 12th 1998, Shrinivas has been awarded the, Nation's prestigious Award "Padma Shri" by His Excellency, The President of India.


Anonymous said...

A meastro indeed a person above a meastro.He is the MAHARAJ OF MANDOLIN MUSIC.

Anonymous said...

He is the most talented instrumentalist carnatic music has ever seen.
but sometimes I feel that his experiments with fusion are creeping into his carnatic performances.

Anonymous said...

None other carnatic musician can be as spontaneous and as commanding than this Mahraj.He is wonderful,great,etc........His music is eternal.