Thodur Madabusi Krishnas three-initialed renown as TMK comes from his widely acknowledged stature as a vocalist in the Karnatik tradition. His musicality eludes standard analyses. Uncommon in his rendition of music and original in his interpretation of it, Krishna is at once strong and subtle, manifestly traditional and stunningly innovative.
He studied at the Krishnamurti Foundations The School in Chennai, and Jiddu Krishnamurtis philosophy of pathlessness has unmistakably influenced his un-preconditioned journeys over the Karnatik continent. Krishnas musical grounding was honed into mastery under the tutelage of Vidvans Seetharama Sarma, Chingleput Ranganathan, and the legendary Semmangudi Srinivasier.
Krishna also writes about issues affecting the human condition and about matters musical. He has started and is involved in many organisations whose work is spread across the whole spectrum of Karnatik music, including research, archiving and documentation, taking Karnatik music to smaller towns and villages and supporting artists from rural south India. He is the driving force behind the Urur-Olcott Kuppam Festival and the Svanubhava initiative and has been part of inspiring collaborations, such as the Chennai Poromboke Paadal with environmentalist Nityanand Jayaraman, performances with the Jogappas (transgender musicians) and bringing on to the concert stage the poetry of Perumal Murugan.In 2016, Krishna received the Ramon Magsaysay Award in recognition of his forceful commitment as artist and advocate arts power to heal Indias deep social divisions.