Sudha Ragunathan

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Sudha Raghunathan
Sudha Ragunathan in Perth, Australia, 2012
Sudha Ragunathan in Perth, Australia (2012)
Born April 30
Occupation singer
Spouse(s) Raghunathan (1982-present)
  • Kaushik
  • Malavika
  • Venkatraman
  • Choodamani
Awards Padma Shri, Sangita Kalanidhi, Kalaimamani
Musical career
Instruments singing

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.[1] She studied at Ethiraj College, and obtained a postgraduate degree in Economics.[2]

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.[3]

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,[4] and occasionally singing the higher registers.[1][3]

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.[5] She is considered among the top rank of Carnatic performers.[6] 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.[2]

Other Music[edit]

Besides the Carnatic repertoire, Sudha Raghunathan has also explored the world music scene, in particular fusion music.[7] She has performed as a playback singer in the Tamil cinema as well.[8]


Following other stalwarts of Carnatic music, Sudha Raghunathan in turn has also taught the tradition to her students.[9]

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.[1] The foundation has also raised funds for victims of the Gujarat earthquake and cyclone relief in Orissa.[7]



  1. ^ a b c Ranjani Govind (March 15, 2013). "Holding the new wave". The Hindu. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c B. Kolappan (July 29, 2013). "Sangita Kalanidhi for Sudha Ragunathan". The Hindu. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Deepa Ganesh (September 13, 2013). "In the flow of things". The Hindu. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  4. ^ Shobha Warrier (February 4, 2011). "Wanted to be a doctor, became Carnatic star". Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  5. ^ Ranjani Govind (December 22, 2006). "For a song". The Hindu. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  6. ^ M. Balaganessin (March 18, 2006). "A saga of magic". The Hindu. Retrieved November 8, 2018. 
  7. ^ a b Ranjani Govind (August 21, 2007). "Sudha is doing her bit for society". The Hindu. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  8. ^ Sreedhar Pillai (September 14, 2007). "Shhh… He's back". The Hindu. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 
  9. ^ G. Swaminathan (August 31, 2007). "In the footsteps of her guru". The Hindu. Retrieved November 8, 2013. 

External links[edit]