'Mandolin' Srinivas: Indian classical musician dies

Mandolin Srinivas at a performance in 2013 Image copyright AFP
Image caption 'Mandolin' Srinivas began playing the instrument at a very young age

Well-known Indian classical musician 'Mandolin' Srinivas has died in a hospital in the southern city of Chennai after a brief illness.

Reports quoting hospital officials said the 45-year-old musician died from "liver-related problems" on Friday.

The musician, whose real name was Uppalapu Srinivas, was popularly known as 'Mandolin' Srinivas because of his skill with the instrument.

In 1998, the Indian government honoured him with civilian award Padma Shri.

Born in Palakol in Andhra Pradesh state in 1969, Mr Srinivas began playing the mandolin at a very young age and gave his first public performance in 1978 at the age of nine.

He was the first person to use mandolin in southern Indian Carnatic music and modified the instrument to suit its pitch.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi "expressed grief" at his death and recalled the "maestro's dedication and long-standing contribution towards music"..

Musicians and music lovers took to Twitter to pay tributes to Mr Srinivas.

"Emotionally shaken to hear of Carnatic shining star Mandolin Srinivasji's demise... May God bless him with happiness in the next world," wrote AR Rahman.

"Tragically, Mandolin Srinivas has left this world, but perhaps best to remember him through his music," wrote singer Shubha Mudgal and added a YouTube link to his performance.