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Mandolin U Shrinivas

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Mandolin U Shrinivas’s biography

Biography U. Shrinivas

Upalappu Srinivas also known as Mandolin U. Srinivas (may also be spelled U. Shrinivas; born February 28,1969 in Palakol, in the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh) is a musician in the Carnatic musical tradition of southern India. He came to prominence not only for his playing but for his choice of instrument: an electric mandolin (the acoustic instrument is incapable of sustaining notes or producing the "slides" between notes necessary for Indian music). In recent years he has toured with John McLaughlin as part of the group Remember Shakti. His brother U. Rajesh is also an accomplished mandolin player.

Artist in the making

At the age of six U. Srinivas picked up his father Satyanarayana's mandolin. Upon realising the talent of his son, his father started teaching him whatever Carnatic music he knew. Soon, Satyanarayana's guru, Rudraraju Subbaraju, realized the potential of U. Srinivas and started teaching him. Since Rudraraju Subbaraju did not know how to play the mandolin he would only sing and U. Srinivas would play it on the mandolin.

U. Srinivas made his first public Carnatic concert performance in 1978 in Gudivada, Andhra Pradesh during the Thyagaraja Aradhana festival. Soon, he came to perform in the Madras Music Season in 1981 for the Indian Fine Arts Society. In 1983, he performed at the JazzFest Berlin where the audience requested him to do a repeat performance. He continued touring the world — Australia, Southeast Asia and then Southwest Asia, followed by the United States and Canada.

Jazz tours

  • In the West Berlin Jazz Festival in 1983, he pitted against Miles Davis and his All Star Band.
  • In 1987, U. Srinivas became the first South Indian Carnatic music artist to perform at the Cevantino Festival in Mexico.
  • Olympics Arts Festival at Barcelona, 1992


He has performed with Western artists such as John McLaughlin, Michael Brook, Nigel Kennedy, Nana Vasconcelos, and Michael Nyman, as well as with Hindustani music artists such as Hariprasad Chaurasia and Zakir Hussain. He has recorded a CD of Carnatic compositions by Ilaiyaraaja called Ilaiyaraaja's Classics in Mandolin.

Awards and achievements

U. Srinivas runs a music school called the Shrinivas Institute of World Music'.The link to the official SIOWM blog is:

Some of the awards that Mandolin U. Srinivas has received:
  • Padma Shree on April 12, 1998 by The President of India
  • Sangeeta Ratna
  • Sanatan Sangeet Puraskar from Sangeet Sanskriti
  • Titled Asthana Vidwan of Govt. of Tamil Nadu in July 1984, Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam on October 1 1990, Pillayarpatti Temple on 27 August, 1995
  • Raja-Lakshmi Award for 1985 from Sri Raja-Lakshmi Foundation, Chennai
  • Mysore T. Chowdiah Memorial National Award
  • Sangeetha Bala Bhaskara by Sangeetha Kalanidhi M.S. Subbulakshmi
  • National Citizen's Award, 1991 by The President of India
  • Special TTK Award and Best Artist Award by the Madras Music Academy in 1983 and 1993 respectively
  • Rajiv Gandhi National Integration Award
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  • Leave a comment for Mandolin U Shrinivas
Barkur Anu on Mandolin U Shrinivas:
02 Apr,2010 at 10:09 PM
i remember having watched a Telugu movie which had either Mandolin Srinivas appearing in it or his Mandolin used in the movie. Can anyone tell me the name of the movie.
Latha on Mandolin U Shrinivas:
15 Sep,2009 at 10:27 AM
Humble guy......wonderful performer....that comes once in an era....
Grace on Mandolin U Shrinivas:
04 Feb,2009 at 06:43 AM
The poet produces the beautiful by fixing his attention on something real.
A musician produces beauty by pouring his heart and soul in the air imagining to fill the hearts of listeners with the same beauty...

combination of vageyyakaaras and musician it is .. always divine... any track is awesome
Grace on Mandolin U Shrinivas:
04 Feb,2009 at 06:27 AM
very melodious... I heard him when he was a child... .. so beautiful his music is .. One will be mesmerised automatically.. so much of devotion flows..
Swapna Gouri on Mandolin U Shrinivas:
20 Jan,2009 at 04:13 PM
A child prodigy, a born genius and a highly versatile artist who plays Indian Carnatic Music on a Western instrument, Mandolin. He was the first one from India to perform in the Olympics. None can compete with this talented artist in playing Mandolin. Hats off !!!

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