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In tune with tradition

Carnatic vocalist and composer Malladi Suribabu mesmerised the Capital’s audience with brilliant and traditional rendition of a rich repertoire of compositions and ragas.

Jyothi Sridevi |

Gurukulam Foundation, Sarita Vihar Music Club, and Naada Centre Chennai, in association with Lok Kala Manch, recently organised a music workshop on a few composers followed by a music concert by Malladi Suribabu from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, at Vasuki Auditorium.

Malladi Suribabu, a senior vocalist, had his training in music from great stalwarts of music Shripada Pinakpani, Voleti Venkateswarlu and Nedunuri Krishnamurthi. His music is scholarly and traditional.

He retired as an announcer from AIR Vijayawada and was associated with a number of flagship programmes of AIR Vijayawada like Bhakthi Ranjani and Sangeeta Shikshna.

He had developed his own style of singing with enchanting amalgamation of Hindustani and Carnatic Music. He is the proud father of internationally renowned vocalists Malladi Brothers.

In a meticulously organised concert of two hours duration, he began the concert with a crisp composition of Ponnayya Pillai’s “Ranganathude” in raga Sowrashtram with a delightful swarakalpana.

He soon embarked on to take up Tygaraja’s rare composition “Eka Kavalasindemi” in the raga Balahamsa, showing an excellent command of manodharmam aspects.


Malladi Suribabu
Malladi Suribabu


Continuing the Tyagaraja compositions, Suribabu rendered brilliantly Sambho Mahadeva in the raga Pantuvarali set to Rupaka Talam. It was brilliantly laced with Hindusthani touch like Sa Pa Varga Sangathis, while also singing niraval and kalpanaswaras.

Later he sang “Rama Ne Dasudane”, a composition of R Venugopal in the raga Malavi popularised by his Guru Voleti Venkateswarlu. Suribabu’s main rendition was once again a composition of Tyagaraja “Koti Nadulu” in the raga Thodi set to Adi talam with a superb alapana. Due to time constraints, he could not render niraval and kalpanaswaras, which disappointed the listeners.

Suribabu concluded his concert with sparkling compositions of Sadashiva Bramhendra in the ragas Valaji and Pahadi, Ramadasa kirtana in Dwajavanti and Annamacharya kirtana in the raga Jog. Delhi R Sridhar and Kumbakonam N Padmanaban gave an excellent support on the Violin and Mridangam.

Music workshop

On the previous day, a music workshop was organised, where Malladi Suribabu imparted music lessons. While teaching, Suribabu highlighted guru-shishya parampara, because a shishya is a refelection of his/her guru.

Every performance of the shishya is guru’s way of teaching and also affirming that the shishya is worthy of Art. He also believes that some time it happens a deserving shishya cannot get a deserving guru and vice-versa. It is his good fortune that he received the training from the maestro Voleti.

At the workshop Suribabu taught compositions by Annamacharya, Ramadasa and Narayana Teertha Tarangams. He emphasised the importance of understanding the lyrics to enable bringing out the emotional aspects of raga as well as composition. It was very well-received by the participants.