Sudha Ragunathan

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Sudha Raghunathan
Sudha Ragunathan in Perth, Australia, 2012
Sudha Ragunathan in Perth, Australia (2012)
Born 30 April
Nationality Indian
Citizenship  India
Education PG in Economics
Alma mater Ethiraj College for Women
Occupation Singer, composer
Religion Hindu
Spouse(s) Raghunathan (1982–present)
  • Kaushik
  • Malavika
  • Venkatraman
  • Choodamani
Awards Padma Shri, Sangita Kalanidhi, Kalaimamani, Padma Bhushan
Musical career
Genres indian classical, carnatic
Padma Bhushan
Padma Bhushan India IIe Klasse.jpg
Awarded by President of India
Ribbon IND Padma Bhushan BAR.png

Sudha Raghunathan 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 Dr. ML Vasanthakumari 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,[4] and occasionally singing the higher registers.[1][3]

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.[5]

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.[6] She is considered among the top rank of Carnatic performers.[7] 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] She recently was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third-highest civilian honor in January 2015.

Other Music[edit]

Besides the Carnatic repertoire, Sudha Raghunathan has also explored the world music scene, in particular fusion music.[8] She has performed as a playback singer in the Tamil cinema as well.[9]


Following other stalwarts of Carnatic music, Sudha Raghunathan in turn has also taught the tradition to her students.[10]

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.[8]


Year Song Album Music Co-Singers
2012 Koniyada tharame[11] Thrahimam 2 Pranam Kamlakar Roopa Revathi
Sannuthinthumo Prabho [11] Thrahimam2 Pranam Kamlakar



  1. ^ a b c Ranjani Govind (15 March 2013). "Holding the new wave". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c B. Kolappan (29 July 2013). "Sangita Kalanidhi for Sudha Ragunathan". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Deepa Ganesh (13 September 2013). "In the flow of things". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  4. ^ Shobha Warrier (4 February 2011). "Wanted to be a doctor, became Carnatic star". Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  5. ^ Sudha Raghunathan Debut as Music Director with film version of Ashoka Mitran's novel 'Thanneer'
  6. ^ Ranjani Govind (22 December 2006). "For a song". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  7. ^ M. Balaganessin (18 March 2006). "A saga of magic". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 November 2018.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  8. ^ a b Ranjani Govind (21 August 2007). "Sudha is doing her bit for society". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  9. ^ Sreedhar Pillai (14 September 2007). "Shhh... He's back". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  10. ^ G. Swaminathan (31 August 2007). "In the footsteps of her guru". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  11. ^ a b
  12. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2015. 

External links[edit]