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D. Balakrishna, often referred to as Vidwan D. Balakrishna is a Carnatic veena player and son of noted veena player Doraiswamy Iyengar. As the current torch bearer of the Mysore style of Veena playing, Balakrishna is noted for his elegant fingering technique and tradition-bound yet rich and sophisticated musical renderings.
Balakrishna was the second son of Doraiswamy Iyengar, and was born in Mysore in 1955. During Balakrishna's childhood, his family shifted to Bangalore, where his father became a music producer with All India Radio, Bangalore and soon became well known. Initially, he showed an interest in the mridangam and was placed under the tutelage of Iyyamani Iyer. Soon however, on the insistence of his grandfather Venkatesha Iyengar, he was introduced to the veena. He made his debut in 1975, at the age of 20, at a Rama Navami festival concert, accompanying his father on the veena.
Balakrishna has a Master of Science Statistics and worked with the Reserve Bank of India as a Special Assistant. He notes that his father advised him, "Don’t take music as a profession." He is currently retired from the RBI and holds concerts and teaches veena to many music enthusiasts.
Balakrishna belongs to the Mysore School of veena and is a top grade artiste of All India Radio and Asthana Vidwan of the Kanchi Kamakoti Samstanam. He has performed with his father several times. He has also given solo performances in national programs on All India Radio and Doordarshan.[unreliable source?] He has also played with violinist M Chandrashekar and sarod player Pandit Rajiv Taranath. With his father's Pancha Veena troupe, he performed in Russia in 1987, and at the "Festival of India" in Germany in 1991. In 1988, he performed in Britain with his father. In 2002, he toured the United States and again in 2006, when he performed in Washington DC, representing the Government of Karnataka in the Vishwa Kannada Sammelana.
Veena Wonders album
In 2007, Balakrishna, C. Cheluvaraju and Ranganatha Chakravarthi performed together to record six songs for the album Veena Wonders Volume 1, released by Vara Enterprises. The 64-minute album included six tracks: Varna in Kedara Rāga, Raama Ninnu in Anandabhairavi, Swarajatthi in Shankarabharana, Thillana in Kanada, Thillana in Kamach and Thillana in Junjooty.
Balakrishna was honoured as the "Best Veena Player" by the Madras Music Academy in 1979, 1991, 1996, 2006 and 2008. He was accorded the title "Ganakalshri" by the Karnataka Gana Kala Parishat in 1997, the "Puttachar Memorial Award" by the percussive art centre, Bangalore in 1997 and the Guru Poornima award by Samskara Bharathi in 2014.[self-published source?]. He has been "Karnataka Kalashree" Award by Karnataka Sangeetha Nritya Academy for the year 2014-15
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