- தமிழ் இசை
1927 - 1990
Balachander - Video Documentary
"S. Balachander, born in Madras
on 18th January 1927, enjoyed the privilege of having had
ancestors who belonged to and lived in Tanjore area,
acclaimed as the seat of culture and fine arts in South
From the very early age of five Balachander started showing
very great interest for Classical Music, and a greater
desire to play upon some musical instruments. The first one
he ever attempted upon being a Kanjeera, a small circular
A child prodigy as he was, within one year of practice, he
started accompanying his brother (a merited vocalist) and
other musicians on the Kanjeera during regular concert
engagements, in sabhas, in temple festivals, in devotional
From that early age of six started Balachander's career as a
concert musician on a steady growth, from day to day, from
success to success, from instrument to instrument. To
explain the last, one after the other, Balachander-untutored
- learned to play, as the years rolled by, several musical
instruments ranging from Tabla, Harmonium, Bul-bul-thara,
Mridangam, Thar-shenai, Dilruba, Tabla-Tarang and Sitar.
In Sitar, he was a full-fledged solo-concert-artiste between
his age of twelve and Sixteen, and on sitar (The North
Indian instrument) it is interesting to note that
Balachander performed south Indian classical carnatic music.
From his age of fifteen, for nearly three years, Balachander
served as an artiste in the staff of "All India Radio�,
Madras, where he had the unique opportunity of playing on
all the instruments mentioned above, during broadcasts
almost daily, rivaling in solo recitals, participating in
orchestral ensembles, accompanying several artistes,
deliberating on Rhythm as a weekly special program on
percussion instruments alone, and composing and conducting
musical pieces of his own.
This hectic period of playing on all these instruments came
to a sudden end-an end brought off by the entry of Veena
into Balachander's life. This also coincided with his
leaving the services of "All India Radio".
Realizing the greatness of this wonderful instrument, the
Veena, Balachander felt from the first moment he started
playing on it, that this instrument demanded his undivided
attention, his every skill, his utmost concentration, and
his profound respect. This resulted in his becoming an
established concert-Veena-player within two years of his
taking up the instrument.
Though Balachander did not have any master or tutor, even to
guide him during the initial stages of Veena-playing, he has
never for once felt it as a handicap. In fact, he said, on
the other hand -"By the grace of God, it gave him the unique
opportunity to practice on his own, strive by himself, and
ultimately bring credit for himself for his achievement of
having evolved a new trend, and a new style, and a new
school of Veena-playing�.
Balachander has thus created a style of his own, considered
and accepted to be hitherto unknown unattempted and
Balachander is also credited with the great achievement of
having secured a unique place for Veena as a 'pucca'
concert-instrument (on par with even the concert vocalists),
where tens of thousands have come to hear him during some of
his recitals, whereas prior to this Veena was treated mainly
as an instrument for 'chamber-concerts' for the benefit of
only a selected few listeners.
Hence, it is no wonder that Balachander was considered to be
one of the topmost Veena-players of India today, in the
exposition of classical carnatic music. He also possessed a
substantial knowledge of North Indian Classical Music, apart
from having a keen sense of appreciation for western
As a composer and a conductor of his own musical works,
Balachander created music for certain choice films, and
orchestral pieces for and from 'All India Radio' stations.
Such of his compositions, which are rare in their variety
and beauty, are earnestly sought after, eagerly awaited for,
and extremely appreciated.
But, it is 'Veena', in his own words and true feelings which
was his uppermost, his life. His life, his everything. "