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Sudha Ragunathan

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  • Years Active: 1990s


Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

An entrancing and exciting vocalist, Sudha Ragunathan's work has been strongly championed by Dr. Winston Banchacharam's Nanuet, NY-based Amutham label. She learned from the acclaimed songstress M.L. Vasanthakumari. In June 1988 she was awarded the title Amutha Isai Vani (a Tamil acknowledgement of the nectar-sweet divinity of her voice) by the Ikankai Thamil Sangam organization in the U.S.A. in recognition of her achievements for Tamil song. She is pictured with this award on Tamil Melodies from Amutha Isai Vani Sudha Ragunathan (Amutham WS 001). Her voice is a joy, and on the strength of her Amutham output an exploration of her recordings on AVM and EMI India is warranted.


Sudha Raghunathan (Tamil:சுதா ரகுநாதன்) is a Carnatic composer and vocalist from South India.

Early Life and Education[edit]

Sudha Raghunathan was born in a Tamil Brahmin family in Bangalore, Karnataka. In 1977, her family moved to Chennai, Tamil Nadu. She studied at Ethiraj College, and obtained a postgraduate degree in Economics.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).


Musical career1.1 Training1.2 Performances and Critical Reception1.3 Other Music1.4 Teaching

Musical career[edit]


Sudha Raghunathan 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.

The early years of her training under Vasanthakumari involved considerable amounts of listening to the teacher and other practitioners in order to absorb their style and oeuvre. Part of her duties involved the accompaniment on the tanpura of her teacher during concerts, and occasionally singing the higher registers.

Performances and Critical Reception[edit]

Sudha Raghunathan has performed at the Madras Music Season, the most distinguished venue for Carnatic music, every year since 1990, when her teacher Vasanthakumari died. She is considered among the top rank of Carnatic performers. Indeed, with the award in 2013 of the Sangita Kalanidhi of the Madras Music Academy, her importance as one of India's finest classical musicians has been firmly established.

Other Music[edit]

Besides the Carnatic repertoire, Sudha Raghunathan has also explored the world music scene, in particular fusion music. She has performed as a playback singer in the Tamil cinema as well.


Following other stalwarts of Carnatic music, Sudha Raghunathan in turn has also taught the tradition to her students.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

Personal life[edit]

Sudha Raghunathan is married and has two children.

She is known for her charitable work, heading the Samudaaya Foundation that provides healthcare to the poor. The foundation has also raised funds for victims of the Gujarat earthquake and cyclone relief in Orissa.Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).


Sangita Kalanidhi from Madras Music Academy (2013).Padma Shri award in the field of Carnatic vocal music (2004).Sangeetha Choodamani, from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai (1997).Kalaimamani award from the state government of Tamil Nadu, India (1993).Bharat Jyothi from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, New York (1988).Sangeetha Kalasarathy from Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, Chennai, from His Holiness Shri Jayendra Saraswathi of Kanchi Mutt.Sangeeta Saraswathi from The Mahasannidanam of Sringeri.Gana kuyil from Valmiki Manram, Chennai.Isai Peroli and VST Award from Karthik Fine Arts, Chennai.Sangita Kokila from Tamil Sangam Navi Mumbai.

Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).

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