GEETHA RAJA has established herself as a well known concert vocalist in South Indian classical music for two decades. She is an accomplished musician with Master’s degrees in Music and English. Her performances include a wide selection from the Krithis of Thyagaraja, Muthuswamy Dikshithar and Shyama Shastri, Tamil Krithis, padams, javalis, abhangs, bhajans and devarnamas.
Geetha has travelled extensively and presented concerts at important venues and festivals all over India and abroad. She has performed in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S.A and has explained Indian music through lecture demonstrations and conducted workshops in Europe and the U.S.A. The “Voices of Women” festival in Belgium, the Nehru Centre in London, Radio France in Paris and the Indo Austrian Association in Vienna are a few of the well known centres where she was invited to perform.
She has participated in the Smithsonian Institution’s “Inspired by India” festival and in the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana in 2005 and has performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, in 2006.
In addition to her concert schedule in India and overseas, she performs regularly on radio and television as an “A” grade artiste of All India Radio, Chennai, and has been featured often in the National Programme and Akashvani Sangeet Sammelan of AIR.
Critics have commented on her resonant voice, fidelity to sruti and clarity of diction. Geetha has given a number of jugalbandi programmes with Hindustani vocalist Sandhya Kathavate, emphasizing the similarities and contrasts in the Carnatic and Hindustani styles of music.
She has presented concerts and interviews in private television channels, lent her voice to dance drama recordings and written articles on music. She has trained in playing the veena from Sangita Kalanidhi K.S. Narayanaswami.
Geetha is actively involved in teaching carnatic and devotional music to advanced learners of music through classes and the internet. She firmly believes in the propagation of our rich musical heritage and engages herself wholeheartedly in this task. She also conducts special classes in padams and javalis under the auspices of the Music Academy, Chennai. Geetha has sung for prominent recording companies – Sangeetha, HMV, Saregama, Amutham Music, Dreams Audio, Gitaa Cassettes and Kalavardhanis and released a number of cassettes and CDs.
Geetha had her initial training in music from Sangita Kala Acharya Bombay Ramachandran and later was privileged to come under the tutelage of Sangita Kalanidhi T.Brinda from whom she imbibed a vast repertoire of classical compositions. She has also had specialised training under Sangita Kalanidhi, Padma Bhushan K.S. Narayanaswami and Padmashri Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan.
Awards & Titles
• Financial Grant from the Dept. of Culture, Govt. of India, to work on “Tamil Isai in Carnatic Music 2007.
• “Jayarathna” – Title from Jayadhaarini Trust – 2007
• “Kalaimamani” – Title from Govt. of Tamilnadu – Feb. 2006
• “Meritorious Vocalist Award”-Maharajapuram Santhanam Trust – 2006.
• “Pannisai Mamani” – Title from Kunnakudi Meenakshi Ramaswami Trust – 2004.
• “Asthana Vidushi” – Title awarded by Shri.Shankaracharya, Sringeri Mutt, Karnataka – April, 2001.
• Dr.S.Pinakapani Award for Best Raga Alapana – Music Academy, Madras – 2000
• T.S.Sabesa Iyer / Tanjavur K.Ponniah Pillai Award – Music Academy, Madras -1998.
• Sung for an award – winning dance documentary film entitled “Sanchari”, produced for the Ministry of External Affairs – 1991.
• Awarded the Govt. of India fellowship under the Department of Culture Scheme of fellowships to outstanding artistes in the field of performing arts for two years – 1988-90.
• Smt.Sarada Krishna Iyer Memorial Award – Music Academy, Madras – 1988.
• Specially sponsored by AIR to give a series of concerts in Andhra Pradesh before invited audiences – 1985
• Fellowship for two years from Bhulabhai Memorial Institute, Bombay, to learn special repertoire from Sangita Kalanidhi K.S Narayanaswami.– (1984–1986).
• Smt.D.K.Pattammal Award – Music Academy, Madras – 1983.
• V.R.Sambasiva Iyer Memorial Award – Music Academy, Madras – 1978.
• Selected by Tamilnadu State Academy (Eyal Isai Nataka Manram) to give a series of concerts in South India – 1977
• “Sur Mani” title awarded by Sur Singar Samsad, Bombay – 1976
• Gokulashtami Series Award – Krishna Gana Sabha, Madras – 1975
• Awarded prizes in AIR competitions in the three categories eligible to vocalists i.e., Classical, Light Classical, Light Music (1971-74).
• Several other prizes and gold medals in music competitions conducted by sabhas in Bombay and Madras – 1967-75.