Saturday, September 20, 2014 - 13:20

The News Minute| September 19, 2014| 10.15 am IST

You only had to listen to him strumming the mandolin to know they were the strokes of a genius. Mandolin Srinivas's Kamboji Varnam - Sarasijaksha - will ring forever in the ears of the millions of his fans around the world who would come only to hear his tillanas or kalpana swarams that would be a combination of Carnatic and Hindustani classical traditions.

He was truly a genius, a talent perhaps only overshadowed by his humility. For him music was a prayer. Gifted musician, child prodigy and a man who mesmerised with his music. Mandolin U Srinivas as he is popularly known passed away at the Apollo hospital in Chennai on Friday morning. He was just 45 and his death comes after a prolonged period of illness. Sources in Apollo say he suffered from organ failure.

Born Feb 28, 1969, in Palakolu in Andhra Pradesh, Srinivas was a child prodigy who gave the mandolin - a Western instrument - a permanent status in the Carnatic music world.

A world-renowned musician, Srinivas gave his first public performance in 1978 in Andhra Pradesh and soon he started trotting the globe.

Srinivas

In 1983, Srinivas performed at the JazzFest Berlin and later toured Canada, Australia and many other countries. He rendered performances with Western artist like Michael Brook, John McLaughlin, Nigel Kennedy, Trey Gunn, Michael Nyman and others.

Thanks to his work, he was honoured with prestigious awards like Padma Shri, Sangeet Natak Academy, and Sangeeta Ratna.

The musician was admitted to Apollo Hospital here some days back due to liver problem and breathed his last Friday morning around 9.30, hospital officials said.

The last rites will be performed on Sunday. His sudden demise has shocked his fans across the world and mourning the loss, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday expressed grief.

Tamil Nadu Governor K. Rosaiah said: "The death of Mandolin Srinivas has left a void and the Carnatic music world has lost a mandolin genius," while Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa expressed her shock and said it was Shrinivas who popularised the mandolin instrument.

Read- In 1980, a mandolin player would get paid just Rs 75

Read N R Ranganathan's assessment of Srinivas' music, a blog written two years ago. 

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