Born into a Telugu Brahmin family in 1969 in Palakol, Andhra Pradesh, Srinivas came to stage performances as a child prodigy with his hands adept on mandolin at a young age of six. He was born into the family of mandolin artistes and had learnt his initial lessons from his father and performed on stage at the age of nine during the Thyagaraja Aradhana festival.
He never looked back and has collaborated with the greats like Zakir Hussain, Vikku Vinaykram and Hariprasad Chaurasia among others in India while on the international arena, he played an electric mandolin with John McLaughlin and Michael Nyman.
“Music is a divine gift. Whatever you play, it should touch the soul. How does it come? If you enjoy what you play, then you can make others enjoy,” he said once.
Srinivas has toured several countries and performed in global festivals held in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Barcelona and was awarded with the Padma Shri and Sangeeta Ratna. He was alwasy accompanied by his brother Mandolin Rajesh, who is also an accomplished mandolin player.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu said he was “Deeply saddened by sudden passing of U. Srinivas, renowned Carnatic musician & legendary Mandolin player. My condolences to family members.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi “expressed grief” at his death and tweeted that the “maestro’s dedication and long-standing contribution towards music” would be remembered forever.
His one-time co-musician Zakir Hussain wrote, “Today mother India cries, today a part of Indian music died and we are orphaned, RIP my dear brother Mandolin Srinivas.”
Bollywood and Tamil films music director A. R. Rahman said he was “emotionally shaken to hear of Carnatic shining star Mandolin Shrinivasji’s demise.”