Sri Dharmala Venkateswara Rao

Sri Dharmala Venkateswara Rao is born in a respectable family on 23-08-1935 at Palivela in East Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh, India. He is the eldest son of Late Sri Dharmala Rama Murthy, a great Mridangam Scholar, who wrote several books on the art of Mridanga and Suryopasana.

Sri Venkateswara Rao is the disciple of the great master "Maardangika Kesari" Late Sri Mullapudi Lakshmana Rao and also his father "Mridanga Vidwatsekhara" Late Sri Dharmala Rama Murthy, two great exponents of Mridangam in that period. He learnt the art of playing mridangam in the traditional gurukula system. During his childhood, he also used to regularly attend concerts of several stalwarts and developed a keen sense of appreciating and understanding the intricate aspects and nuances in the art of playing Mridangam.

Sri Venkateswara Rao has accompanied on Mridangam many leading and top ranking artists including Sri Balamurali Krishna, Sri Nedunuri Krishnamurthy, Sri T V Sankaranarayanan, Smt M L Vasantha Kumari, Sri Trichur Ramachandran, Sri M S Balasubrahmanya Sarma, Smt Mani Krishnaswami, Sri K J Yesudas, Sri Chittibabu, Sri N Ramani, Sri R K Surya Narayana, Sri RaviKiran, Sikkil Sisters, Bombay Sisters, Smt Sudha Raghunathan, Hyderabad Brothers and Hyderabad Sisters throughout India and abroad on several important occasions and in many sabhas since 1950. He also performed extensively on All India Radio and Doordarshan for several decades including National Programmes. He was felicitated in many sabhas and is honoured with the title "Mridanga Ratnakara" in the 105th Ganapathi Festival of Sangeetha Vidwat Sabha, Kakinada in 1998. Click on concert photos to see some concert pictures.

Sri Venkateswara Rao worked as a Lecturer in Mridangam in the Govt. College of Music and Dance, Hyderabad for 25 years and trained many students. He has been an external examiner in several Universities and has conducted several theory and practical examinations in a fair manner. He has also been invited as a judge for several important Music competetions in India.

Sri Venkateswara Rao has done research on the art of Mridangam and co-authored his father's books "Mridanga Thatwam", "Muktayi Sutra Bhashyam", and "The Theory and Practice of Mridanga" and is instrumental in publishing these books.

Sri Venkateswara Rao passed M.A in Political Science from Osmania University and also passed Visarada Examination in Mridanga. Sri Dharmala Venkateswara Rao has been doing public service as Secretary and Vice President of Sri Yagnavalkya Cultural Association of Hyderabad and organized many programmes. He has also organized his father's Jayanthi and Vardhanthi celebrations in a prestigious manner and also published the second editions of the aforementioned books.

His two sons Chi D.V. Rama Murthy and D.V.S.S Prasad are Software Engineers in U.S.A. and play Mridangam. His eldest son Mr. D.V. Rama Murty has inherited the hereditary art of Mridanga. He is a graded artist in AIR and has been performing in public concerts in India and USA.

Sri Dharmala Venkateswara Rao has been doing research on the art of Mridanga and is teaching students in India and in USA.