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Sudha Ragunathan

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Nationality  Indian
Children  Kaushik Malavika
Citizenship  India
Name  Sudha Ragunathan

Occupation  Singer, composer
Spouse  Raghunathan (m. 1982)
Religion  Hindu
Parents  Choodamani, R. Chudamani
Sudha Ragunathan Sudha Ragunathan JungleKeyin Image
Born  30 AprilBangalore
Alma mater  Ethiraj College for Women
Role  Vocalist ·
Education  Good Shepherd Convent, Chennai
Albums  Marriage Songs, Classical Vocal, San Marga
Similar People  Nithyasree Mahadevan, Bombay Jayashri, M Balamuralikrishna, P Unni Krishnan, Harris Jayaraj

Sudha ragunathan classical vocal magic voice of sudha audio jukebox

Sudha Raghunathan is a Carnatic vocalist and composer from South India. She was conferred the Kalaimamani award by the Government of Tamilnadu in 1994, Padma Shri (2004) and Padma Bhushan (2015) by the Government of India.


Sudha Ragunathan Picture 256926 Sudha Ragunathan at Radio Mirchi Music

8th annual music festival 2017 thyagaraja aradhane karnatik vocal by sudha ragunathan

Early life and education

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Sudha Raghunathan was born in Bangalore, Karnataka. In 1977, her family moved to Chennai, Tamil Nadu. She studied at Ethiraj College, and obtained a postgraduate degree in economics.


Sudha Ragunathan Sudha Raghunathan Nilacharal

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.

Sudha Ragunathan Sudha Raghunathan Singer MySwar

Trained under Dr. ML Vasanthakumari in the gurukula style, it 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, and also accompanying her during concerts. In her own words, "A period of 13 years from 1977 to 1990, a phase of complete absorption and internalisation! There was no teaching in a formal atmosphere. We learnt while being with her during the kutcheris (concerts). We would record her singing in our minds and then replay it while learning the intricacies. It was a very challenging and different experience and as I had begun learning very early from her, my mind was like a sponge and absorbed whatever I heard".

Sudha Ragunathan Padma Bhushan Smt Sudha Raghunathan Concert in Redmond High School

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.

Performances and critical reception

Sudha Ragunathan Sudha Ragunathan Singer Entertainment

Sudha Raghunathan has performed at the Madras Music Season every year since 1990, when her teacher Vasanthakumari died. She is considered one of India's leading Carnatic performers. In 2013 she was awarded the Sangita Kalanidhi of the Madras Music Academy. She was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third-highest civilian honor, in January 2015.

Sudha Ragunathan Carnatic Music Selections sung by Sudha Raghunathan and Sowmya

The first UN released stamp to honour India’s carnatic music artist M S Subbulakshmi, was presented to Raghunathan to honour her performance at the UN.Oct 2016.

Concert performances

Sudha Ragunathan Simplify Carnatic music so it reaches a larger audience says

Ragunathan has performed and collaborated with other artists all over the world. She has performed at the United Nations, and the Théâtre de la Ville, Paris. Sudha performed at the Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Centre, at New York Broadway to commemorate 50 years of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Sudha is the only Indian vocalist to have participated in the Global Vocal Meeting organized by the 'Burghof,' an Academy of Music and Arts at Lorrach, Germany and produced by Stimmen Voices International Vocal Festival.

Other Music

Ragunathan has also performed as a playback singer in the Tamil cinema. She got her first break as playback singer under Illayaraja in the movie 'Ivan', performing the song,'Enna Enna Sethai'. Besides the Carnatic repertoire, Raghunathan has also explored the world music scene, in particular fusion music.


Following Carnatic musicians, Sudha Raghunathan has also taught the tradition to her students. Sudha also plans to start her own 'Sangeetha Gurukulam' to provide vocal music training to continue the rich musical heritage that her Guru always believed in

Personal life

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.


  • Padma Bhushan award in the field of Carnatic vocal music (2015).
  • 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 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.
  • References

    Sudha Ragunathan Wikipedia