Anirudh Venkatesh
Vocalist, Tamil Nadu, India
Date of Birth : 28 - Oct - 1991


Disciple of: Padmabhushan Sri P.S. Narayanaswamy

Anirudh began formally learning Carnatic music from Smt. Padma Kutty in the fall of 1996 shortly after turning 5 years old. Even at that young age, he was extremely attentive and had a good sense of raga and tala. With his focus and dedication, he progressed rapidly. Just a few years after he began learning music, he began singing at music festivals organized by the South Indian Music Academy. One rasika fondly remembers those days when Anirudh “created quite a sensation as a young boy with a melodious voice and precocious musical talent.”

As he progressed, he continued to expand his knowledge by continuing classes with Smt. Padma Kutty and by listening to several distinguished Carnatic musicians. In an effort to take lessons directly with these accomplished artists, he began traveling to Chennai for intensive musical training during the summers. He was fortunate to begin taking lessons with Smt. Sugandha Kalamegham in the summer months of 2001. The following year, he began his training under Sri Palai C.K. Ramachandran, a disciple of the legendary Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer. As his repertoire of songs grew and he learned more about the intricacies of Carnatic music, he became increasingly interested in learning and performing. In the summer of 2005, he began learning with both Sri Seetharama Sharma and the revered Padmabhushan Sri P.S. Narayanaswamy. He continued to learn with these prominent gurus each summer and is currently being trained in the Semmangudi bani by his gurus, Sri P.S. Narayanawamy and Sri Palai C.K. Ramachandran, while he is in Chennai.

As he continued in his musical journey, he gained recognition for his talent at the Cleveland Aradhana Festival where he earned first place 1st place in the Vocal Junior Category and 3rd place in the Ragam Junior Category in April 2004. The acknowledgement of Anirudh’s musical talent resulted in many solo concert opportunities coming his way. In the following years, he went on to do solo concerts in several prestigious institutions in Chennai including The Madras Music Academy (Sarvani Sangeetha Sabha), Narada Gana Sabha (Charsur Arts Foundation), Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Vani Mahal (Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha), Mylapore Fine Arts, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Kartik Fine Arts, Bharat Kalachar, Mudhra Fine Arts, Astika Samajam Thiruvanmiyur, Ramana Kendra, Raga Sudha Hall, and TTD Centre. Along with performances in Chennai, Anirudh has also been invited to perform concerts in other parts of India, such as Mumbai and Coimbatore, as well as several parts of USA, such as Cleveland (world-famous Thyagaraja Aradhana), Los Angeles, San Jose, Tampa, and Seattle.

In addition to extensive performance experience, Anirudh has received numerous awards and accolades. In August 2008, Anirudh was selected to be a featured artist by All India Radio Youth Broadcast, AIR Chennai. The following year, he won several awards from the Madras Music Academy in its annual music competitions. For a merit-worthy concert that he sang in Sri Krishna Gana Sabha's 2011 Gokulashtami Festival Concert Series, he was awarded the "Thanjavur S. Kalyanaraman Endowment Award" by Sri Krishna Gana Sabha in August 2012. In August 2012, he was also featured in the Madras Music Academy's annual Spirit of Youth Festival, for which he was awarded "Best Male Vocalist".

Shows & Major Performances

In addition to performing at large venues, Anirudh has also been active in using his music for devotional purposes and to enrich the public. He can often be found singing at temples and religious community festivals in India and abroad. Furthermore, he has shared his music with underprivileged children around Chennai because he would like them to experience the same divine energy that he feels when he is singing. Academically, Anirudh is currently in his fourth year of undergraduate studies at Stanford University. He is concentrating in Computer Science and anticipates receiving his B.S. degree in June 2013.

Audience and Press Reviews:

“Anirudh’s singing carries the briskness and vitality of the Semmangudi bani.” K.S. Kalidas, Sruti Magazine, September 2010

“Anirudh is truly a prodigy in Carnatic music, in every sense of the word, and right now, even as a high school student, he is almost a ‘full-fledged professional artist in Carnatic music’…[he] has been hailed for his virtuosity as a vocalist, universally by the general audience and the cognoscenti alike. While he excels in
his uncanny imagination, innovative ideas and improvisation, his renditions are deeply rooted in the traditions and classicism of South Indian music.” A. Vijayaraghavan, Past President of South Indian Music Academy (SIMA)

“It was impeccable, perfect, beautiful, melodious…music that was full of bhavam, which I enjoyed….When you [sing] with humility and bhakti, then that music comes and touches your heart—that was what Anirudh did today.” Lakshmi Krishnamoorthy, Doyen of South Asian Arts in Southern California

“The young artist displayed his innovative and creative ability in the Niraval and Swaram parts of the following piece “Venkataramana,” a composition of Papanasam Sivan in Lathangi ragam and Rupaka thalam…The enthusiastic crowd of more than 300 was especially pleased with Anirudh’s main piece “Sharavana Bhava Guhane” also a composition of Papanasam Sivan.” Staff Writer, India Journal, Oct 13 2008

“The energy was powerful. I was particularly involved with the electricity among the musicians, as I felt charged from it myself…[Anirudh’s] conversations with both the other instruments, and the range from deep strength to a lighter gentleness were eloquently delivered.” Unsolicited audience member

“I was not only impressed by his voice culture and musical prowess, but also by the breadth and depth of his knowledge of this intricate musical form. He was able to keep the audience engrossed for almost three hours during which he revealed his remarkable understanding of the nuances of Carnatic music.” K.R. Subramanyam, Student of Dr. N. Ramani

“He has blossomed into a young professional musician, though in his teens.” Thiruvayaru S.R. Krishnan, Music Teacher and Connoisseur

“Anirudh Venkatesh is a valuable resource and a much-needed torch-bearer for the next generation of youth.” Harish Murthy, Executive Director of Ektaa Cultural Center

Present Gurus:
- Padmabhushan Sri P.S. Narayanaswamy
- Sri Palai C.K. Ramachandran
- Smt. Padma Kutty

Vocal Training:
- Smt. Padma Kutty
- Smt. Sugandha Kalamegham
- Sri Seetharama Sharma
- Sri Palai C.K. Ramachandran
- Padmabhushan Sri P.S. Narayanaswamy

Selected Performances:
- Charsur Arts Foundation, Chennai
- Spirit of Youth Festival, The Music Academy, Madras
- Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai
- Kartik Fine Arts, Chennai
- Mylapore Fine Arts Academy, Chennai
- Sarvani Sangeetha Sabha Trust, The Music Academy, Madras
- Music Circle, Raga Sudha Hall, Chennai
- Sravanam, TTD Centre, Chennai
- Thyagaraja Aradhana, Cleveland
- VDS Arts Academy, Chennai
- South Indian Music Academy (SIMA), Los Angeles
- Dhanvanthri Temple Auditorium, Coimbatore
- Talam Cultural Trust, Thrissur
- Chembur Fine Arts Academy, Mumbai
- Bharat Kalachar, Chennai 

Academic Accomplishment: Stanford University Computer Science student Degree: B.S., Expected June 2013


55 Prithivi Ave, Abiramipuram 4th St, Chennai

Phone: +91.93810.58627


Awards & Recognitions

Best Vocalist

Spirit of Youth Festival, The Music Academy, Madras 2012

Thanjavur S. Kalyanaraman Endowment Award

Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai 2012

First Prize

"Pallavi Singing” in The Music Academy, Madras 2009

First Prize

Competition in “Varnam- Boys” in The Music Academy, Madras 2009

First Prize

“Purandaradasa Padas and G N B Songs” in The Music Academy, Madras 2009

First Prize

“Vocal Music for Gentlemen” in The Music Academy, Madras 2009

Third Prize

“Syama Sastri Krithis” in The Music Academy, Madras 2009

Alliance for California Traditional

Alliance for California Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant 200

AIR Youth Broadcast

All India Radio Youth Broadcast, AIR Chennai 2008

About Sabhash - Everything about classical music, dance, drama and a platform for inclusive entertainment is the one-stop destination for the latest news and information on the performing arts of India - classical music and dance, theatre, bhajans, discourses, folk performances, and other lesser known art forms. Institutions that revolve around the performing arts have exploded in numbers, and thanks to the Internet which has made information easily accessible, the number of rasikas has grown too. Corporate patronage has played a big part in increasing the world-wide reach of the Indian arts. Sabhash wishes to be a platform for inclusive growth giving an equal opportunity and recognition to not only the main performer but also the artistes who accompany them on stage, and the people who work backstage and play the role of unsung heroes.