VIDWAN M. R. SHANKARAMURTHY
Sri M. R. Shankaramurthy was born in Mudalapura (Hassan Distirct) in 1922 and when he was about six months old the family shifted to Matturu (Shimoga District). The dominant community in Matturu is the Sanketi sect to which Sri Shankaramurthy's family belonged. The Sanketi community is known for its contribution to the fields of Vedadhyayana, Sanskrit, Music and Gamaka vachana. This atmosphere induced a natural inclination in young Shankaramurthy's mind towards Classical music and very early on he decided to make music his life. He went to stay with his elder brother in Tanjore, one of main centres of Carnatic classical music. His first teacher was Lingadahalli Sri Ramajois, also belonging to Sanketi community but settled in Tanjore. One of the doyens of Carnatic music Sri Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar visited Tanjore for a concert and Sri Shankaramurhty who was attracted to his music aspired to be his disciple. He was accepted and he went to Chennai to continue his music education. He later learnt from Sri Sattur Krishna Iyengar and returned to Bangalore with intentions of settling down there and taking up career as a music teacher. In Bangalore he honed his skills in teaching music from the Violin maestro Sri R. R. Keshavamuthy.
Sri Shankaramurthy taught in the Fine Arts section of Malleswaram Ladies Association for about 35 years. In addition, he started his own music school, Guru Guha Gana Nilaya which served as center for music studies and publications.
There was a dearth of books in Kannada containing musical compositions with notation. He started collecting and publinshing authentic versions of compositions with notation, organising them under different categories -- Varnas, Swarajatis, compositions of Tyagaraja, Muttuswamy Dikshitar, Swati Tirunal, .... In all, he published a total of 53 books covering all levels -- from beginning lessons to complex compositions of the Trinity. This work has earned for Sri Shankaramurthy a permanent place in the Musical world of Karnataka and the Kannada speaking population.
His wife Smt. Sitalakshmi supported him in all his endeavours. Sri Shankaramurhty had the satisfaciton of seeing many of his direct - and indirect, through his books - disciples attain proficiency and make a mark in the field of music. He passed away on July 5, 1993.
Sri Shankaramurhty was an avid reader and was fond of sharing his readings with his mother and younger brother, Sri Matturu Krishnamurthy - Matturji. Matturji records that this was instrumental in him developing a deep interest in literature and later paved the way for his glorious career in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.
All the forty-five books are made available here for the benefit of Kannada speaking students of Carnatic music all over the world, courtesy his younger brother, Sri Matturu Krishnamurthy, who had contributed biographical sketches of composers appearing in these volumes. Matturji dedicates this digital collection to the loving memory of his elder brother Sri Shankaramurhty with affection and gratitude.