We mourn the passing of Sangita Kala Acharya Sri. B. Krishnamoorthy

Sangita Kala Acharya Sri. B. Krishnamoorthy
(24 August 1932 – 19 September 2021)

Sangita Kala Acharya B Krishnamoorthy was a multi faceted vidvan and a great guru. He represented a wonderful combination of a devoted sishya who always strived to keep up the dignity of tradition and at the same time sculpted his own creative space not only with his musical performances, but also in his capacity as a composer of brilliant pallavis, an ingenious tunesmith and an insightful scholar.

He was associated with the activities of the Music Academy in various ways for a considerable period of time (from 1959-78). Dr. V. Raghavan, the then Secretary of the Music Academy, arranged for his appointment as a teacher at the Model School run by the institution, with a scholarship to train under Sangita Kalanidhi Mudicondan Venkatarama Iyer. He then served as a teacher in the Teachers’ College of Music, at the Academy.

Sri B Krishnamoorthy was skilled in writing accurate notations for songs. With this and his erudition in Samskrta and Tamizh languages he contributed significantly to numerous publications of the Academy which included compilations of kirtanas of Patnam Subrahmanya Iyer and Mazhavai Cidambara Bharati’s songs. From collecting and collating manuscripts and handwritten notebooks, to checking the notations, he ensured that the most authentic notational version of the songs found place in the publications. He received the title of Sangita Kala Acharya from the Music Academy in 2007. He also received the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi award the same year.

In 2020, the Music Academy got an opportunity to interview this legendary artiste for a project of its Research Centre. His scholarship, musicianship and erudition were astounding and we would always come away asking for more.

The story of his learning experiences with many stalwart musicians and gurus, his own ideas and thoughts on music such as ‘svarasthana shruti parimanam’ (which he said was a term he had coined) and his textual scholarship on musical concepts were al testimony to his lifelong sadhana and tapas for attaining ‘nada vidya’.

Sumithra Vasudev