Friday, March 19, 2010

Sudha Raghunathan - Tyagaraja Songs

Sudha initially wanted to become a doctor, but the thought of performing dissections so repelled her that she gave up the idea. “It wasn’t that I was a bad student. My dissections were always neat and my diagrams were perfect, but I always found myself fainting at the sight of blood!”

She proved her prowess both in academics and in music and now, stood at a juncture where two roads diverged - there was ‘something’ that was needed to push her onto the road less traveled by.

Enter Padmavibushan Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr. M.L. Vasanthakumari, hailed by many as a musical genius, a doyen of Carnatic music. In 1977, Sudha won a Central Government scholarship that gave her the opportunity to come under the wings of this master of a great parampara. From this point on; there was no turning back. Sudha had the golden opportunity to provide vocal support to MLV for about a decade.

Of MLV, (as she was affectionately called by all) Sudha often said “Music was only one of the few things she taught me. She taught me how to live life to its fullest.” Sudha, with a touch of nostalgia, vividly recalls how while singing an Ashtapathi in ragamalika, there would come a sangathi in Yaman Kalyani at a higher octave. Spontaneously, MLV would stop and allow Sudha to take over. “She was such a generous person on stage….in some sense it also reflected how she was in life as well.” From 1990, Sudha’s rise was phenomenal, and following her Guru’s demise, she has been considered as MLV’s vaarisu.

Sudha is a top ranking artiste for Prasar Bharati, Chennai and performs at important events of All India Radio and Doordarshan.

Music had now taken centre stage but for Sudha it would not be at the cost of her academics. She holds an M.A. in Economics. Being such a vivacious, versatile and highly talented individual, it’s no surprise that Sudha won the award- Outstanding Student of Ethiraj College, for three years in succession- an achievement which for a long time remained unmatched. She was the Treasurer and later the Vice President of the Students Union and won the prestigious ‘Service to the College’ medal.

Today, Sudha Ragunathan is known for her beautiful vocal tapestries, soaring solos and unusual timbres. Her creative expression in Carnatic music has no par. And, her music is known to flow straight from the heart, dripping with classical divinity.

In the world of voices, can you hear my song? “The enthralling, enchanting voice of Sudha and her entrancing harmonies have graced several 'kutcheries' and celebrations. She was the auspicious voice at the first live broadcast of the National Program Series of concerts hosted at Chennai.

This is a write up I found on sudha's personal website.
I am told people throng to her concerts to see the jewellery and the silks she wears.
I am also told that leading jewellers and silks sellers use her as a brand ambassador.
I am happy for Sudha!!
If cricketers and actors can make money endorsing things, why not a musician?
And how many musicians are capable of doing that?

Now. here is an album of Sudha with Tyagaraja items in it.


01 Evarani - Nadachintamani
02 Muddumomu - Suryakantam
03 Samajavaragamana - Hindolam
04 Dayarani - Mohanam
05 Brova bharama - Bahudari
06 Manavi aalakincha - Nalinakanthi
07 Nidhi cahala - Kalyani
08 Adamodi - Charukesi
09 Gandhamu - Punnagavarali



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