By Sudha Ragunathan
Saturday, June 3, 2023 | 4:30 PM
East High School
450 Ellis Ln,
West Chester, PA 19380
SRUTI is pleased to present a Grand Carnatic Vocal Concert by Padma Bhushan, Sangeetha Kalanidhi Sudha Ragunathan, accompanied by Rajeev Mukundan (on Violin) and Akshay Anantapadmanabhan (on Mridangam)
Sudha Ragunathan is one of India’s foremost Carnatic vocalists. A disciple of the legendary Padma Bhushan awardee Dr. ML Vasantha Kumari, Sudha has evolved a style of her own where the soul of her music lies in the dynamism of her presentation, with exceptional motifs and matrices of raga images and swaras making it a quintessential amalgam.
Sudha received her initial training in Carnatic music from her mother Smt. Choodamani and subsequently learnt under Shri B. V. Lakshman. In 1977, she received the Government of India scholarship to learn Carnatic music from the legend Dr. ML Vasantha Kumari, whose student she remained for 13 years.
Sudha Ragunathan received ‘Padma Bhushan’, the third highest civilian award of India, in 2015. The Music Academy awarded Sudha the ‘Sangita Kalanidhi’ in recognition of her contributions. More than a 100 awards and titles adorn her including – ‘Kalaimamani’, ‘Sangeetha Choodamani’, ‘Sangeetha Saraswathi’, ‘Sangeetha Visharaadh’, ‘Sangeetha Sampoorna’, to name a few, along with a noteworthy list of Lifetime Achievement Awards from renowned institutions across the world.
Sudha Ragunathan also has the distinction of being the only Carnatic musician second to Bharat Ratna MS Subbulakshmi, to have sung at the United Nations. Sudha Ragunathan led the largest Carnatic band along with Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi dancers to acquire a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Louisville, Kentucky declared 19 May 2019 as Sudha Ragunathan Day in recognition of her service to the field of arts for the past four decades. Her other memorable moments were when her music celebrated the nation’s 50th year of Republic India with ‘Vande Mataram’ sung at the Central Hall of Parliament. Sudha also had the honor of performing at the Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Centre and at New York Broadway to commemorate 50 years of the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan.
As the voice and soul of Carnatic music Sudha has contributed immensely to the increasing acceptance, awareness and ‘hosannas’ for music in its purest form. Her music has enthralled packed audience at International Music Festivals and concerts in India and around the world.
Rajeev Mukundan began his violin lessons with Shri N. Govindarajan at a very young age. He has been currently receiving advanced training from Sangeetha Kalanidhi A. Kanyakumari for over a decade. He is an ‘A’-grade artist on the All India Radio. He has received numerous awards from prestigious organizations and has traveled extensively on concerts, both in India and abroad.
He has given many violin duet concerts with his Guru A. Kanyakumari and has also accompanied senior artistes. He has been a part of several unique jugalbandis and musical collaborations.
Akshay Anantapadmanabhan is a sought after mridangam artist known for his sensitive musicality and distinct tonality. A senior disciple of Sangita Kala Acharya Sri. T.H. Subash Chandran, Akshay has performed with the leading names of Carnatic music such as Sudha Raghunathan, Aruna Sairam, Unnikirishnan, T.M. Krishna, Ranjani & Gayatri, Lalgudi GJR Krishnan & Lalgudi Vijayalakshmi
Akshay has been invited to perform at prestigious festivals and venues including the Madras Music Academy Margazhi Festival, World Music Festival – Chicago, Ragas Live Festival – New York City, Cleveland Thyagaraja Festival, and Sacred Spirit Festival – Jodhpur.
With over thirty musical releases, EPs, and albums in collaboration with various genres, Akshay has developed a keen sense of integrating roots of Carnatic tradition in cross-over collaborations.
Akshay is the recipient of several awards including recognition for his latest discovery of the “spotless mridangam”, the ‘Best Mridangist’ award from the Music Academy Madras, Maharajapuram Youth Excellence Award, C.S. Murugaboopathy award from Krishna Gana Sabha, and North America Young Musician Award. One of the primary faces of IndianRaga (https://indianraga.com), Akshay is also an educator of Carnatic percussion, teaching both classical and multi-genre musicians through individual training as well as master classes.