|Born||30 April 1956|
Madras (present-day Chennai), Tamil Nadu, India
|Alma mater||Ethiraj College for Women (PG in Economics)|
Sudha Ragunathan is an Indian Carnatic vocalist, singer and composer. She was conferred the Kalaimamani award by the Government of Tamil Nadu in 1994, Padma Shri (2004) and Padma Bhushan (2015) by the Government of India, and Sangeetha Kalanidhi by Madras Music Academy in 2013.
Sudha Ragunathan (née Sudha Venkatraman) was born in Chennai on 30 April 1956 and later shifted to Bangalore. She did her schooling in Good Shepherd Convent, Chennai. She studied at Ethiraj College, and obtained a postgraduate degree in economics.
Sudha Ragunathan received her initial training in Carnatic music from her mother V. Choodamani. From the age of three, she began to learn bhajans, Hindu devotional songs. Her tutelage continued under B. V. Lakshman. In 1977, she received an Indian government scholarship to study music under a doyenne of Carnatic music, Dr. M.L Vasantha Kumari, whose student she remained for thirteen years.
Trained under Dr. ML Vasanthakumari in the gurukula style, it involved considerable amounts of listening to the teacher and other practitioners to absorb their style and oeuvre. Part of her duties involved the accompaniment on the tanpura of her teacher during concerts, and also accompanying her during concerts. In her own words, "A period of 13 years from 1977 to 1990, a phase of complete absorption and internalisation! There was no teaching in a formal atmosphere. We learnt while being with her during the katcheris (concerts). We would record her singing in our minds and then replay it while learning the intricacies. It was a very challenging and different experience and as I had begun learning very early from her, my mind was like a sponge and absorbed whatever I heard".
As of January 2015, she is preparing to debut in Kollywood as a music director with the upcoming Tamil film 'Thanneer' based on a Novel published in 2009 by Ashoka Mitran.
Sudha Ragunathan has performed at the Madras Music Season every year since 1990, the very year in which her Guru Dr. ML Vasanthakumari breathed her last. She is considered one of India's leading Carnatic performers. In 2013 she was awarded the Sangita Kalanidhi of the Madras Music Academy. She was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third-highest civilian honor, in January 2015.
On 2 October 2016, the United Nations released stamp to honour India's Carnatic music artist Bharat Ratna Dr.M S Subbulakshmi and this stamp was presented to Sudha Raghunathan to honour her performance at the United Nations on 2 Oct 2016.
Ragunathan has performed and collaborated with other artists all over the world. She has performed at the United Nations, and the Théâtre de la Ville, Paris. Sudha performed at the Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Centre, at New York Broadway to commemorate 50 years of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Sudha is the only Indian vocalist to have participated in the Global Vocal Meeting organized by the 'Burghof,' an Academy of Music and Arts at Lorrach, Germany and produced by Stimmen Voices International Vocal Festival.
Ragunathan has also performed as a playback singer in the Tamil cinema. She got her first break as playback singer under Illayaraja in the movie 'Ivan', performing the song,'Enna Enna Sethai'. Besides the Carnatic repertoire, Raghunathan has also explored the world music scene, in particular fusion music.
Following Carnatic musicians, Sudha Ragunathan has also taught the tradition to her students. Sudha has launched her own school Sudhaarnava Academy for Musical Excellence on the day of Vijayadashami in 2017. The school has a faculty of her students along with Sudha Ragunathan herself and has conducted lec demonstrations and workshops in many venues across the globe.
Sudha married Ragunathan and they have two children.
Sudha is known for her charitable works, and had launched the 'Samudhaaya Foundation' in 1999 of which she is the Founder and Managing Trustee. The Foundation has assisted the under privileged in the areas of child healthcare, infrastructural aid for homes and for heart surgeries for children. The foundation has also raised funds for victims of the Gujarat earthquake and cyclone relief in Orissa.
|2012||Koniyada tharame||Thrahimam 2||Pranam Kamlakar||Roopa Revathi|
|Sannuthinthumo Prabho||Thrahimam2||Pranam Kamlakar|