G.N.B, the Super star!


Yes, he WAS the singing superstar of carnatic music in his time. He swayed the minds of the pundits and layman alike through the rich timbre of his voice and his immence repertoire.

He was peerless in his style of raga elaboration and middle tempo rendering coupled with his inimitable style. He carried his handsome personality laden with music virtuoso with ease and grace!

G.N.B, the Musician par excellence!

(1910 - 1965)

A Profile

GNB - the first and arguably the most famous acronym in Carnatic music. The name somehow still retains freshness even now, many decades after his passing away. A reflection of his style perhaps. This possibly explains why, as we are aware, youngsters born after he passed on have drawn inspiration from his tapes to take to music as a way of life and a means of livelihood. They couldn't have been swayed by his striking personality.

G N Balasubramanian was the son of Shri G V Narayanaswamy Iyer, who was himself a keen student of music with an almost professional thoroughness. GNB, a musical prodigy grew up under his father's guidance.

He could produce super fast gamakam laden sangathis with strength and weight and with great imagination. But,in such a voice of his, running at so fast a speed the effects of Brighas, twists and turns would come in quick succession that he became an instant hit with both the lay audience as well as those initiated to the mathematics and science of carnatic music!

His style of Raga elaboration, rendering of standard kritis in the classic traditions and apt swaraprasthana endeared him to the average music hall audience as well as to the knowledgeable musically trained critical audience of his time

He had taught and groomed a number of his disciples during his active years. Many had reached the top grade even during his time, chiefly among them are M. L. Vasanthakumari, Radha Jayalakshmi, S.Kalyanaraman, Trichur V. Ramachandran.

"Mani", as he was affectionalely called (G.N Sir, to many!) had acted in 5 films, (or, is it only 4?) - including the one with the celebrated musician M. S. Subbulakshmi in "Sakunthala" as Dushyantha.

Apart from being a great vocalist, GNB also composed sevaral krithis. Unfortunately his life was cut short and he pass away in the prime of his musicianship at the age of just 55.

His music for you!

Fortunately, a few of GNB's live concerts (as well as the Gramophone records cut by him) are still available with many generous connoisseurs and collectors of Carnatic music, who are willing to share with others, the bliss, the raptures and the Musical Nirvana that they have enjoyed by listening to GNB's music!

I have placed a few pieces of his rich music in the downloads section for your appreciation!