Dr. Nookala Chinna Satyanarayana is a doyen and
a multi faceted carnatic classical musician from Andhra
Pradesh. Gifted with a sonorous voice and great caliber,
he adheres to classicism. He is a performer and lecture
demonstrator of universal appeal and an author of some
of the most valuable and enriching works on music.
Born on August 4, 1927 at Anakapally village in
Andhra Pradesh to Yegnachayanamma and Annapurneswara
Sarma, Nookala is known for his analytical approach,
deeper understanding of the science and art of music and
pepping up his style with unique new element of infusing
the raga bhava in every note and every phrase.
He is still the top ranking performer on All India
Radio and Doordarshan. During his career that
spanned over four decades, Nookala has hold various posts
and positions. He has been conferred with many prestigious
titles and awards too. Mahamahopadhyaya and President's
Sangeeta Academy award, Nada Nidhi,
Saptagiri Sangeeta Vidwanmani, Annamacharya Vidwanmani,
Sangeeta Sarvabhauma, Sangeeta Ksheera Sagara, Ganakala
Gandharwa, Lakshya Lakshana Marthanda, Sangeeta sudhakara
and Hamsa were some of them. He
is also the Asthana Vidwan of Sri Tirumala Tirupati
Devastanam - Tirupati and Pittsburgh, USA
Even at the age of 74, Nookala is still looking enthusiastic
to serve the classical music. "Music is an ocean
and every musician should serve their best with impartial
devotion," says the septuagenarian maestro in
an exclusive interview with Hyderabad-best.com.
you briefly tell us about your childhood?
Since my childhood, I am a deep admirer of music. I love
music than any other thing in this world. Even though
I was quite good in education, it was the classical music
that attracted me right from the beginning. That's why
I've stopped my education and started learning music.
When did you decide to learn
music and where did you learn it?
I use to sing for dramas in my childhood . One fine day,
I had been to a carnatic classical music programme given
by one of the disciples of legendary violinist Dwaram
Venkata Swami Naidu. The programme captivated many
music lovers and me. I was very impressed by the show
and ran to my father and compelled him to let me learn
I learned music with such devotion that I am proud to
say that my music Gurus were my mother, Dwaram Venkata
Swami Naidu, Mangalampalli Pattabhi Ramaiah (Father
of Mangalampalli Bala Murali Krishna), Sripada
Pinakapani and Akkaji Rao.
Were your parents supportive
of your interest in music?
My parents supported me a lot. It's my mother who fostered
my talent and taught me the basic music, when I was a
child. Observing my interest towards music, my father,
who was a Srividya upasaka enrolled me at Dwaram
Venkata Swami Naidu's music classes.
have chosen music as your career. Is there any particular
Nothing but affection towards classical music.
Tell us about your career as
Without any efforts, opportunities came to me, which in
turn moulded my career as a musician. I've worked as a
professor for Maharaja's Music college of Vijayanagaram,
Professor for Telugu University, Hyderabad, Principal
for Govt. Music College of Hyderabad, Principal
for Govt. Music college of Secunderabad, Principal
for Govt. Music college of Vijayawada and Principal
for Sri Venkateswara Music College of Tirupati,
Chairman for Board of Studies, Andhra University and
Sri Venkateswara University, Expert Member of Andhra
University and Madras Music Academy and Member
Audition Board and Committee for All India Radio.
I've been to 18 foreign Universities as a visiting professor.
In my career one memorable incident was that, after my
retirement from the service, I had been to England to
give a lecture demonstration and returned to India.
The moment, I came to my house, I was surprised to know
that I've been invited as a Principal to the Music College
of Hyderabad once again. I always felt proud to say that
I retired twice in my career...(laughs).
Could you tell us about the
memorable shows you have given
Almost all shows are memorable for me and there were some,
which are more than that. Once, when I was in Belfast,
Ireland, on audience request, I sung an English song
in their own style and the same in the Indian classical
style immediately. The whole theatre was thrilled by my
experiment and gave me a standing ovation. I've once again
received the similar honour in Madras when I gave lecture
demonstration on 'Endaro Mahanubhavulu' keerthana
at Madras Music Academy. And when I received the prestigious
title 'Mahamahopadhyaya' given by Akhila Bharata Gandharva
Maha Vidyalaya Mandali, Pune, I felt very excited.
More than these, I had the privilege of singing in the
presence of Presidents of India, S. Radha Krishna
and V.V. Giri and Prime Ministers of India, Jawaharlal
Nehru and P.V. Narasimha Rao.
Have you created any new style
When it comes to style, I've created my own 'Nookala style'
of singing by never departing from classicism, and at
the same time justifying and beholding the beauty of 'raga'
and the meaning of the 'Kriti', with a special
emphasis on the diction of the Kriti. Apart from this,
I've also innovated a unique technique of teaching through
Do you feel that the classical
music is struggling for survival?
There is no need for classical music to struggle. Classical
music is an ocean. The ups and downs are just like waves.
But, one should remember that spirit of music never dies.
Do you have any plans
of serving the classical music at this age?
Since my childhood, I am serving the classical music with
lot of determination . I was the President of Sangeeta
Mitra Brindam, when I was in the learning stage at
Visakhapatnam. Even today, I am working as the founder
president of Viswakala Parishat and chairman of
Akhilandra Sangeeta Parishad.
Do you think musicians of today
are as committed as they were in the olden days?
Whether it is music or some other field, none can become
an expert without having commitment. So, commitment is
always there. But, when compared to the olden days, the
new generation musicians are using the devotional music
for their commercial purpose. I hope this will positively
change in the near future.
What is your advice to aspiring
young musicians of today?
Don't be commercial always and don't strive for giving
programmes in the initial stage itself. I believe that
as long as the upcoming musicians keep learning the music
with devotion and interest, the money and fame will automatically
come to them.
from a classical singer, you are also a teacher and well-known
author of many music related books. How does it feel to
be a multifaceted personality?
I never felt that I'm a multifaceted person. I always
believe in simple living and high thinking. As a musician
I have taught, performed and also produced many audio
cassettes and albums that are still receiving great applause
from all corners of the globe. As an author, I'm always
a satisfied person. I've written many books like 'The
monograph of Tyagaraja'a Pancharatna Kritis', 'Ragalakshana
Sangraham', 'Sangeetasudha', 'Sri Tyagaraja Saraswata
Sarvaswam', etc., which are also familiar all over