Palghat R. Raghu was born on January 9, 1928 in Rangoon, Burma. He died of cardiac arrest on June 2, 2009. As a child, he was immensely talented and inducted into mridangam lessons very early in his life. His first mridangam lessons were from Tinniam Venkatarama Iyer and Trichy Raghava Iyer. Later he learnt the art from the legendary Mridangam wizard Palghat T. S. Mani Iyer.
Ever since, he has accompanied numerous artists for the past 60 years with distinction. He is a graduate of mathematics. He was a famous Carnatic musician and percussionist. Palghat Raghu was a percussion master known for his distinctive style in playing as well as his effortless finger techniques and technical brilliance.
His unique style which involves imaginative use of the Toppi (left part of Mridangam) combines melody with rhythm and lifts the concert performance to high levels. Using different techniques, he adjusted his playing style to not only different artists and instruments but also captures the bhava and sahitya of music.
Awards & Titles
• Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1983
• Palghat Mani Iyer award (first recipient)
• Padma Shri in year 1985
• Mridangam Chakravarty award
• Kalaimamani (Tamil Nadu)
• Sangeetha Choodamani
• Mridangam Nada Mani (Shankaracharya)
• Nada Brahmam – award from Narada Gana Sabha( 2000)
• Nada Nidhi (2001)
• Sangeetha Kalanidhi (2007)