Uppalapu Srinivas (28 February 1969 – 19 September 2014) was a virtuoso Indian mandolin maestro, prodigy, trailblazer and composer belonging to the classical Carnatic musical tradition of Southern India. Recognized worldwide as a colossus and the rarest of musical geniuses, Srinivas is regarded as the Mozart of classical Indian music. Srinivas pioneered the introduction of the mandolin, a western instrument, into classical Carnatic music, because he fell in love with it as a five-year-old, in the same manner as three much older musicians, Varahappa Iyer, Baluswami Dikshitar, and Vadivelu, had introduced the violin into Carnatic music, two hundred years ago. There is a major difference in their contributions: cognoscenti and leading musicians accepted Srinivas’s mandolin when he was about nine, owing to his astounding virtuosity and sheer genius, whereas it took about a hundred years for the violin to be thus accepted. A prodigy, he made his debut in 1978, at the age of nine, and since he was the first musician to adapt and play the mandolin in the Carnatic music style, he came to be popularly known as Mandolin Srinivas. “Eddie van Halen, eat your heart out,” Beatle George Harrison reportedly said in 2001, having stumbled upon one of Srinivas's albums. "George Harrison's favourite piece of Indian music was Mandolin Ecstasy, an album recorded by a child prodigy from Madras called U Srinivas at the age of 13. It was, like, my dad's favourite album of all time," says (Dhani) Harrison. "U Srinivas is 27 now and still making music. He plays an electric five-string mandolin, he's fantastic...." Over the next four decades, he toured across the world, and collaborated with John McLaughlin, Michael Nyman, and Michael Brook. After Pandit Ravi Shankar, no classical Indian musician enjoyed the kind of global reach and worldwide audience that U. Srinivas has: at a very young age he was internationally viewed as the successor to Pandit Ravi Shankar. Srinivas's gift was so prodigious and baffling from the very moment he gave his first performance that it inevitably led to his being compared to the world's greatest prodigies: "Some of you have heard or read about exceptionally gifted children, our own Mandolin Srinivas, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Beethoven, Sir Isaac Newton, Picasso, Madam Curie, the list is endless." (The Hindu, Sunday, May 3, 1992)
He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1998 by Government of India, and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2009. He was a follower and devotee of Sri Sathya Sai Baba and had performed before him on several occasions.