70 Years of Berliner Festspiele

Master Srinivas Group

Concert as part of Berliner Jazztage 1983
Philharmonie, 29.10.1983

The mandolin has already been used during the Renaissance, in compositions by Beethoven and Mozart, as well as in countless bluegrass melodies. The Indian musician Uppalapu Srinivas subsequently introduced the almond-shaped lute to classical Indian music and discovered a worldwide audience for this crossover between genres.

Uppalapu Srinivas as a child, playing the mandolin and looking to the right. Srinivas is wearing a white shirt.

Master Srinivas Group, Berliner Jazztage 1983. Film, colour, sound. Film still


  • 27 min

In 1983, when Uppalapu Srinivas, only 14 year old, performed with his band at the Berliner Jazztage in the Philharmonie, he still had to bear the heavy burden of being labelled the “Indian Mozart”. 27 minutes of great virtuoso playing and the pure joy of improvisation from a fourteen year old. On that October day he shared the stage in Berlin with no lesser figures than the Sun Ra Allstars and Miles Davis, which outraged DIE ZEIT at the time and led to a debate about cultural imperialism good and bad. In all the fuss it was forgotten that there was also breakdancing by the Magnificent Force from New York in the foyer during the interval – all broadcast live on television.


Mandolin Master Uppalapu Srinivas
Body percussion R. Subbaraju
Violin M.R. Gopinath
Ghaṭam, percussion T.H. Vinayakram