Dr. Yella Venkateswara Rao is a legend in playing the Mridangam. He started performing at the age of seven as a child prodigy.
A great maestro that he is, Dr. Yella Venkateswara has been recently awarded the Padmashree by the government of India. Speaking about his unique achievements, he is a Guinness World record holder for playing the Mridangam continuously for 36 hours. It was organized by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Andhra Pradesh at Sankar Mutt, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh on 16th August, 2011. Starting from 5 PM on 16th August, 1981, he played the Mridangam till 7 PM of 17th August, 2011.

Apart from this, he holds more than 15,000 regional, national and international performances to his credit. He has been one of the most celebrated performers on the All India Radio and Doordarshan since 1954 and 1965 respectively.
Here are a few of the prestigious national and international awards that he has won:
• Received the first prize in 1961 for the All India AIR Music Competition. Award was presented by Dr. Sarvepally Radhakrishna, the then President of India.
• Hoso Bonka Award for Sivathandavam, a play created, directed and produced by Dr. Yella Venkateshwara Rao about Lord Shiva and presented at the International Radio Music competitions held in Indonesia in 1979, where in 79 Nations participated and India won the award.
• Acharya Award conferred by the Telugu Association, Houston, Texas, USA in the year 1985
• Honorary Citizenship presented and conferred by Mayor of City of Temple, Texas, USA
• Honored with Gold Medal at Rome in 1981 International world Music Festival.
• Life time Achievement Award from North America, Chicago, Telugu Associan Dubai, Telugu Associan Japan, Andhra Mahasabha New Delhi.

Dr. Yella Venkateshwara Rao is considered to be one of the greatest musicians and even a greater ambassador for Indian classical music. A Mridangam legend, he has enthralled India and the world with stellar performances. It is an absolute honor to have Dr. Yella Venkateshwara Rao performing for the ‘Swara Veda.’
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