Kunnakkudi M. Balamuralikrishna has evolved into a talented young vocal artist, popular with rasika-s and sabha organisers alike. A relative of the late violin maestro Kunnakkudi Vaidyanathan, Bala’s paternal grandfather, Ramanatha Sastri was, besides being a ‘vaidika’, a musician who performed over AIR-Tiruchi. His father Meenakshisundaram is also a musician. He worked in Gemini Colour Laboratory for about ten years after which he has devoted all his time to teaching music in Tambaram and surrounding areas. Bala’s mother, a teacher of mathematics, can also play the veena. The musical ambience at home, sound training from his teachers, a robust voice, hard work and peer pressure have ensured that Balamuralikrishna is among the leading young musicians of today. The place name Kunnakudi was prefixed to young Balamuralikrishna’s name to clear the confusion created in the minds of concert-goers between him and Sangita Kalanidhi M. Balamuralikrishna, once the younger vidwan outgrew the “Master” tag attached to his name some four years ago.
Bala started learning music at the age of seven, simultaneously from his father and Vidwan V. Sundaresan who taught him Dikshitar’s navavarana and navagraha kriti-s. After short stints with A. Sundaresan and Neyveli Santhanagopalan, he has been undergoing tutelage under the eminent teacher P.S. Narayanaswamy for over fourteen years. His long-time co-disciple under PSN is Abhishek Raghuram, another rising star. Their close friendship is marked by healthy rivalry.