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Mandolin U. Shrinivas is no more
CHENNAI, September 19: We regret to announce that Mandolin U. Shrinivas is no more.

He died here in a city hospital. He had been ailing for a while.

Shrinivas was born on February 28, 1969 at Palakol in Andhra Pradesh. At an young age of six, he picked up his father Satyanarayana's Mandolin. Realizing the talent of his son, his father began teaching him. Soon, he took him to his guru Rudraraju Subbaraju. Since Rudraraju Subbaraju did not know how to play the Mandolin, he would just sing, and Shrinivas would play it on the Mandolin.

He was a follower of Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Srinivas married Sree, an IAS officer's daughter, on November 19, 1994. They had a legal separation a few years ago. She has been living with their son. Shrinivas's brother Rajesh, too, plays Mandolin, Shrinivas had collaborated with illustrious names such as John McLaughlin, Michael Nyman and Michael Brook.

He was honoured with Padma Shri in 1998, and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2010. Shrinivas was also running a music school called the Shrinivas Institute of World Music (SIOWM).

Some of the awards that he had received were:
  • Padma Shree on April 12, 1998 from the President of India
  • Sangeeta Ratna
  • Sanatan Sangeet Puraskar from Sangeet Sanskriti
  • Appointed Asthana Vidwan of Government of Tamil Nadu in July 1984, and of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam on October 1, 1990
  • Raja-Lakshmi Award for 1985 from Sri Raja-Lakshmi Foundation in Chennai
  • Mysore T. Chowdiah Memorial National Award
  • Sangeetha Bala Bhaskara by Sangeetha Kalanidhi M.S. Subbulakshmi
  • National Citizen's Award in 1991 from the President of India
  • Special TTK Award and Best Artiste Award from The Madras Music Academy in 1983 and 1993, respectively
  • Rajiv Gandhi National Integration Award

Mandolin U Shrinivas, it is often said, was to Indian classical music what Yehudi Menuhin is to the Western classical music. Like Menuhin, Mandolin U. Shrinivas was also child prodigy. He started to play Mandolin, a little-known instrument in India, when he was only six years old. Even though, Mandolin was an alien instrument in South Indian classical music at that time, Shrinivas modified the western Mandolin into a Carnatic instrument. Since he played Mandolin with so much felicity and dexterity, his name had become synonymous in India and the music world with the Mandolin. And, hence, he was popularly called Mandolin U. Shrinivas.


Read also an interview of the Mandolin artiste done by Sudha Jagannathan way back in Sify many seasons ago.


Mandolin Shrinivas's demise stuns artiste fraternity