Sumithra Vasudev
Carnatic Vocalist, Tamil Nadu, India

Biography

V. Sumithra (Sumithra Vasudev), classical Carnatic vocalist and disciple of renowned musician Sangita Kalanidhi Vidushi Smt. R. Vedavalli, has been performing in the field of music for nearly two decades. Even at the age of five her passion for the art was recognized and nurtured by her grandmother, Smt. Janakam Chari, and her parents, Smt. Padmaja and Sri. R. Vasudev. Later, at the age of eight she started her training under Smt. R. Vedavalli.

Training under her in the Gurukula style of learning has given Sumithra the good fortune of moving very closely with her Guru, through which she has imbibed the rich tradition and style that marks Smt. Vedavalli’s music. Sumithra’s music stands out for its classicism and depth, while emphasizing manodharma within the specified lakshana. Niraval and Vrttam singing and Ragam Thanam Pallavi rendition are special areas which portray her own style as well as her great lineage.

Sumithra has been performing from the age of eleven. One of her first performances was for the ‘Spirit of Youth’ festival of the Music Academy where her concert was adjudged as ‘The Best Concert’ and she won a prize for it. She is an A grade artiste of the All India Radio. She performs regularly in India and abroad. She is a recipient of the title of “Yuva Kala Bharati” and the Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar National award from the Sangeet Natak Akademi, among many other titles and awards. She has released many thematic CDs and cassettes apart from live and studio concert recordings.

In addition to being a performing artiste and active researcher of music, Sumithra has a deep interest in language and literature, particularly in Samskritam and Tamil. She has set to music many slokas and verses from classical and modern Sanskrit literature and has popularized them through presentations and demonstrations in various musical and Samskrita gatherings. The Nalayira Divya Prabandham in Tamil is of special interest to her. She has presented exclusive Divya Prabandha concerts and has tuned and accompanied her Guru in CD renderings of the same. She has also learnt the art of Harikatha from veteran exponent, Kalyanapuram Shri. R. Aravamudan.

Married to Sri. Vijay Madhavan, who is a disciple of renowned Bharatanatyam artiste Padmashri Smt. Chitra Visveswaran. He is a recipient of the title of “Yuva Kala Bharati”. He performs regularly at various festivals, and has been performing at the Bhagavatha Mela for nearly two decades. He runs a dance school, “Rechita Nrityalaya”, where he trains students in the classical Bharatanatyam style of dance.

Shows & Major Performances

PERFORMANCES
•V. Sumithra is an A grade artist of the All India Radio.
•She performs for all the prestigious Sabhas in Chennai and in various cities all over India during the December music season and also in other festivals throughout the year.
•She has participated in the Thyagaraja Aradhana in Muscat.
•She has performed many thematic concerts – on Kshetra (Kanchi) for the Carnatica Archival Centre, on Dikshitar kritis in Guruguhanjali and Muscat, and on the Nalayira Divya Prabandham in Coimbatore and Bangalore.
•She was featured in Sangeet Pratibha, a festival for young musicians under the auspices of SANGEET NATAK ACADEMY in Vishakhapatnam in October, 2007.
•She was invited to perform in the Hindu’s NOVEMBER FEST in 2008, which was very well received.
•Sumithra provides vocal support to her Guru in concerts in Chennai and other cities in India.
•She has been on a concert tour with her Guru to the Middle East.
•She participates in all her Guru’s thematic presentations and lecture demonstrations and provides vocal support in her CD recordings.
•She has been regularly accompanying her Guru in her SANGEET SAMMELAN concerts on the All India Radio.

SCHOLARSHIPS
•FELLOWSHIP from THE SANGEET NATAK ACADEMY to have special training in Ragam-Tanam-Pallavi under senior vidwan Sri. B.Krishnamurthi, for the year 2008-2009.
•Was selected by the TamilNadu Iyal Isai Nataka Mandram, Chennai under the Youth Talent Promotion scheme to give a series of concerts in 1998.
•Under the ARIYAKUDI RAMANUJA IYENGAR SCHOLARSHIP from THE MUSIC ACADEMY, CHENNAI in the year 1998-99.
•STERLING HOLIDAY RESORTS SCHOLARSHIP for two years from 1995.

WORKSHOPS
•Took part in a workshop by Vidwan Sangita Kalanidhi Nedunuri Shri. Krishnamurty on kritis of Annamayya and Bhadrachala Ramadas.
•Participated in Ragam Tanam Pallavi workshop by Sangita Kalanidhi Smt. R. Vedavalli.
•Participated in workshop on the kritis of Mysore Shri. Vasudevachar by his grandson Shri. S. Rajaraman .
•Took part in workshops on Muthusvami Dikshitar kritis conducted by Vidwan Calcutta Shri. K.S. Krishnamurty and Shri. B. Rajam Iyer under the auspices of the Music Academy.
•Participated in Melaragamalika workshop where the ‘72 Melaragamalika’, one of the longest compositons in Classical music, was taught by Smt. R. Vedavalli.

CASSETTES AND CDS
•Sumithra was featured during the HMV Music Festival called PARAMPARA at the Narada Gana Sabha in 1999 and the concert was released as a live recording.
• Thematic CDs – , Devi Kritis, Kritis of Narayana Tirtha, Dakshin (Songs in ragas Sri, Ranjani and Sriranjani), Sri Krishna Smaranam (songs on Lord Krishna), Vaggeyakara (featuring songs of Ramanathapuram Srinivasa Iyengar), Tasmai Sri Gurave namaha ( thematic Cd of songs on Guru), VCD - Soundarya Lahari, released in 2001, where Sumithra has set to tune and rendered the verses of Adi Sankara’s stotra ‘Soundarya Lahari’.
•Contributed to a documentary VCD called “Saint Thyagaraja” by a rendition of kritis of the Saint in the original patantara.
•Has released many concert CDs. Some of them are- pallavi concert CD, a live recording of her concert in Music Academy in 2000, ‘Samarpanam’ – a live recording of concert for Carnatica Archival Centre in the December season and a live concert recording for Charsur.
•Kavi Kokila Manjari - a double CD album featuring musical compositions and stotras of Sanskrit scholar and writer, Dr. V. Raghavan , where Sumithra has set to music, the stotras and some of the compositions.
•Sumithra is presently working on a Cd on the kshetra of Tiruvarur.

RESEARCH
•Sumithra worked with the translation project of the monumental work ‘Sangita Sampradaya Pradarshini' by the Music Academy, Chennai.
•Sumithra conducted a lecture demonstration on Niraval singing for school students in 2007 organized by the Music Forum in Rani Seethai Hall.
•She is a regular participant in the activities of Dr. Raghavan Centre for Performing Arts and Samskrita Ranga and sings for their Sanskrit dramas.
•She has set to music many Sanskrit poems of great poets like Kalidasa and has presented them in Samskrita gatherings.
•Sumithra conducted a lecture demonstration on Niraval singing for school students in 2007 organized by the Music Forum in Rani Seethai Hall.
•She is a regular participant in the activities of Dr. Raghavan Centre for Performing Arts and Samskrita Ranga and sings for their Sanskrit dramas.
•She has set to music many Sanskrit poems of great poets like Kalidasa and has presented them in Samskrita gatherings.

Contact:
Paduka, Ground Floor,
17, 1st Cross Street,
CIT Colony, Mylapore,
Chennai – 600 004
Phone: +44.2499.3068
Mobile: +91.96000.24220

Awards & Recognitions

Yuva Kala Bharathi

from Bharat Kalachar on 12th Dec, 2008

USTAD BISMILLAH KHAN YUVA PURASKAR

from the Sangeet Natak Akademi, Government of India, for the year 2008

A.M.Venugopal award

from “Kala Kruthi”, Chennai, 18th of April, 2009.

Nada Oli

from Nada Inbam in 2004.

YUVA KALA JYOTHI

from the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham in 2001.

Best Sub-Senior Vocalist

award for the year 2007-08 by the Music Academy.  

Best Junior Vocalist

awards for the years 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2007 from the Music Academy.

Tanjavur Srinivasa Iyer Endowment Award

for her concert in the Gokulashtami Series of the Krishna Gana Sabha in 1998 given away by Sangita Kalanidhi Semmangudi Shri. Srinivasa Iyer.  

A Prize in the Ragam Tanam Pallavi competition

conducted by the Vidwan Balachander Trust in 1997.

Ambujam Krishna Award

for the best concert in the “Spirit of Youth” festival of the Music Academy in 1992 at the age of 11.

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