Sudha has a golden touch in her voice which enthralls her listeners from all over the globe. There is tantalizing mystery behind that cherubic smile. Her deep relish for tradition and mystical old-world charm is supremely addictive. Her foundation in the world of music was laid at a very young age and it was her mother Smt. Choodamani who groomed her, before the onus to nurture her music fell upon Vidwan Sri. B.V. Lakshman.
Sudha initially wanted to become a doctor, but the thought of performing dissections so repelled her that she gave up the idea. “It wasn’t that I was a bad student. My dissections were always neat and my diagrams were perfect, but I always found myself fainting at the sight of blood!”
She proved her prowess both in academics and in music and now, stood at a juncture where two roads diverged – there was ‘something’ that was needed to push her onto the road less traveled by.
Enter Padmavibushan Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr. M.L. Vasanthakumari, hailed by many as a musical genius, a doyen of Carnatic music. In 1977, Sudha won a Central Government scholarship that gave her the opportunity to come under the wings of this master of a great parampara. From this point on; there was no turning back. Sudha had the golden opportunity to provide vocal support to MLV for about a decade.
Sudha is a top ranking artiste for Prasar Bharati, Chennai and performs at important events of All India Radio and Doordarshan.
Music had now taken centre stage but for Sudha it would not be at the cost of her academics. Sudha carved a niche for herself in the Carnatic School of singing, thanks to her voice that packed ‘swara’ and ‘shakti’. Her distinctly stunning vocal style and effortless singing made her the most sought after artiste for several prestigious concerts. As the brightest singing star on the horizon, her voice mesmerized ‘rasikas’ across the country and beyond the Indian shores.
Today, Sudha Ragunathan is known for her beautiful vocal tapestries, soaring solos and unusual timbres. Her creative expression in Carnatic music has no par. And, her music is known to flow straight from the heart, dripping with classical divinity.
Entered Padmavibushan Sangeetha Kalanidhi Dr. M.L. Vasanthakumari, hailed by many as a musical genius, a doyen of Carnatic music. Sudha carved a niche for herself in the Carnatic School of singing.
Awards & Titles
- Sudha Ragunathan was conferred The Rajiv Gandhi Moopanar Award along with nine others, for eminence in the field of music, in Chennai on August 23, 2007.Union Minister of State for Statistics Sri.G K Vasan conferred the awards.Cardiologist Dr. Cherian, Actor Ms.Manorama, Poet Sri. Pa Vijay, Educationist & Madras Christian College Principal Ms.Annamma Philip, Mridangam Maestro Sri. K.Sivaraman, Orator Ms.Barathi Baskar, Film Director Sri. Rajkiran, Educationist & Hindustan Aeronautical College Principal Varghese and Social Worker and Woman Leader Ms.S. Fathima Muzaffer were other recipients of the Award.
- The Government of India announced the Padma Sri award to be given to Sudha Ragunathan in the field of Carnatic music for 2004, on January 26th 2004. She received the Padma Sri from the president of India, A.P.J.Abdul Kalam on 30th June 2004.
- Kalaimamani the highest award conferred by the Tamilnadu Government (India), given to outstanding artistes – 1993
- Sudha was the proud recipient of VIRTUOSO AWARDS 2005. Best carnatic vocalist on August19, 2005.
- Sudha Ragunathan had the honour of being named a PAUL HARRIS FELLOW in appreciation of her tangible and significant contribution to the society by the Rotary Club of Madras to coincide with the 75th year ‘Charter Day’ celebrations on July 19th 2004.
- The Rotary Club of Madras presented the ‘Award of Excellence’ to Smt.Sudha Ragunathan on 19 July 2004 honouring her talent and outstanding accomplishments.
- The Southern India Cinematographers Association announced Ms.Sudha Ragunathan as the Best Female Playback Singer in Tamil for the movie ‘IVAN’ and awarded the SICA Awards for her achievement.
- The title ISAI ARASI was conferred on Sudha by Sri Ram Samaj, Chennai on April 23, 2004.
- Sudha was the recipient of 2003 ‘WISDOM Star of India Award’ and the title of SANGEETA RATNA for her exemplary service to promote music worldwide. It was given by the magazine WISDOM on 13/12/2003.
- KALASAGARAM Secunderabad conferred on Sudha the title of ‘Sangeetha Kalasagram’ on 29 November 2003.
- Sudha Ragunathan was conferred the title ‘ARJUNA’ for achievements as a performer, and as a mark of personal distinction in the propagation of Carnatic Music on 15 December 2003 by the Margazhi Mahotsavam at Chennai.
- A certificate and gold coin was awarded to Sangeetha Vidwamsini Sudha Ragunathan for lifetime contribution to the propagation classical music on the occasion of the Peetarohana Swarna Jayanthi Mahotsav celebrations of His Holiness Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal on 20 January 2004 at Chennai.
- Sangeetha Choodamani in 1997 from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai.
- Sangeetha Kala Sarathy from Sri Parthasarathy Swami Sabha, Chennai from His Holiness Shri Jayendra Saraswathi of Kanchi Mutt.
- Bharatha Sangeetha Bhusana from Sri Bharatalaya, Chennai.
- Bharat Jyothi in 1998 from The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, New York.
- Sangeeta Saraswathi from The Mahasannidanam fo Sringeri.
- Gana Kuyil from Valmiki Manram, Chennai.
- ‘Isai Peroli’ and VST Award for excellence from Karthik Fine Arts, Chennai.
- MLV Platinum Jubilee Award 2003 from Dr. MLV Cultural Trust, Chennai.
- Rashtriya Ekta Award at the 57th birth anniversary celebrations of Rajiv Gandhi in recognition of achievements and contribution to fine arts.
- Outstanding National Citizen Award 2001 from The National Citizen’s Guild, New Delhi.
- Gem of India Award 2001 at the All India Achiever’s conference in the category of fine arts and culture.
- Seva Ratna Award 2001 from The Centenarian Trust, Chennai.
- Swara Raga Laya Ratna from Academy of Indian Music, Melbourne.
- Isai Chelvam in 2000 from Muthamizh Peravai from Kalaingar Dr.M.Karunanidhi.
- Sivan Isai Selvi from Papanasam Sivan Rasika Sangam.
- Rasika Kala Ratna from Rasikapriya, Sydney.
- Gana Sudha Amrithavarshini from Sree Kanchi Kamakotti Peetam.
- Thennisai Thilakam from The Federation Tamil Sangams of North America and the Tamil Nadu Foundation, USA.
- Ugaadi Puraskar from Telugu Academy.
- Youth Excellence Award from Sri Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer Trust.
- Woman of Golden Substance 1998-1999 from Rotary Club, Chennai.
- Sangeeta Kala Sironmani from Nungabakkam Cultural Academy Trust, Chennai.
- Sudha received the title of ‘Nadha Kalanidhi’ from Sri Shanmukhananda Sangeetha Sabha, New Delhi in February, 2005 for her meritorious achievement in Carnatic Music.
- Padma Sarangapani Cultural Academy honoured Sudha with the ‘Padma Sadhana’ award on 24th December 2005.
- The Tamil Brahmin Association (THAMBRAAS) At Chennai presented Sudha Ragunathan with the Award of Excellence at the Silver Jubilee of State Conference on 25/12/2005.
- The Rotary Club of Trichirapalli Fort, Trichy presented Sudha with the VOCATIONAL EXCELLENCE Award on 8th March, 2006.
- ‘Vani Kala Sudhakara’ from the Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha on December 9, 2005.
- ‘Sangeetha Mamani’ from the Sri Rama Bhaktha Jana Samaj, K.K.Nagar, Chennai
- ‘Nadha Ratnakala’ from the Universal Fine Arts, on 21st December 2005.
- ‘Nadha Kavidha’ on December 26 2005, under the aegis of the music journal, ‘Nadha Brahmam’.