Dr. Sumithra Vasudev, a musician of repute, is a prime disciple of legendary musician Sangita Kalanidhi Smt. R. Vedavalli, and has been performing in the field of Carnatic Classical music for over 25 years.
Sumithra is an A grade artiste of the All India Radio and performs music concerts regularly in Chennai, other places in India like Bangalore, Kerala, Mumbai and Delhi, and abroad. She participates in many of the well-known Carnatic music festivals like The December Music Season, Hindu’s November Fest, Aradhana festivals, Sangeet Pratibha organized by Sangeet Natak Akademi and the Cleveland Tyagaraja Aradhana, where she gives regular and thematic concerts.
She has been consistently involved with SpicMacay, an organization that has been serving the cause of Indian Classical music, and culture, where she visits schools and colleges to perform concerts and trains students in their intensives.
She deems it a great blessing to give vocal support for her Guru, for over two decades now, and has travelled with her for many concerts in India and other countries abroad. She has been a part of all the thematic presentations and lecture demonstrations of her Guru.
Sumithra is a faculty in Advanced School of Carnatic Music, The Music Academy, where students are given intense training for performance of the genre of Carnatic Vocal music.
She is the Head of Research, Music Academy Research Centre, The Music Academy Madras.
She holds a Masters’ degree in Sanskrit Literature and a Ph.D in Music for her study of compositions and raga-s handled by the Dikshita family composers, based on a notation of the early 20th century. Her research topic combines a study of compositions and raga-s handled by the Dikshita family composers, based on a notation that belongs to the early 20th century.
Awards and Titles
- Best Lecture Demonstration prize from the Music Academy (2018-19)
- Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar from The Sangeet Natak Akademi (2008).
- ‘Sangeeta Kala Ratna’ in the Cleveland Aradhana Celebrations, Cleveland, USA (2012).
- Best Vocalist prize from the Music Academy (2011).
- Best Lecture Demonstration prize from the Music Academy (2011).
- Washington Sivakumar Memorial Award from the Brahma Gana Sabha (2011).
- Yuva kala bharati from Bharat Kalachar (2008).
- Nada oli from Naada Inbam (2004).
- Yuva Kala Jyothi from Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham (2001).
- Ambujam Krishna award in the Spirit of Youth festival, conducted by Music Academy, Madras (1992), when she was 11 years old.
- Recipient of Junior Research Fellowship from the Ministry Of Culture on the topic of ‘Manodharma in South Indian Classical Music’, which involved a study of the basis of the categories of Kalpita (pre-composed) and Manodharma (creative) in Karnatak music with a detailed note on the various aspects of alapana singing
- Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for specialized training in Ragam Tanam Pallavi singing
- Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar scholarship from The Music Academy and Sterling Resorts Scholarship for advanced training in music.
Sumithra has released many cassettes and CDs. Some of the thematic CDs are
- Dakshin (Rajalakshmi Audio)
- Vaggeyakara- Poochi Srinivasa Iyengar compositions ( Charsur)
- Devi kritis and NarayanaTeertha’sTarangams (HMV)
- Shree Krishna Smaranam (Gitaa Cassettes)
- Tasmai Shri Gurave Namaha, a thematic cd on the concept of Guru, the teacher,
- A VCD on SaundaryaLahari of Adi Sankara
- Kavikokilamanjari in three volumes comprising of verses, songs and stotra-s of the great Samskrta scholar Dr.V.Raghavan.
Research & Lecture Demonstrations
- She gives lecture demonstrations on topics related to music like ‘Role of Gamaka-s’ (for the Music Academy, 2011), ‘Raganga ragamalika of Subbarama Dikshita’ (for Naada Inbam in 2013), etc.
- Sumithra was invited as ‘Spinoza Visiting Research Scholar’ to Leiden University,Leiden, Netherlands for a four-week term in 2017 where she interacted with musicians, professors of music as well as languages. She presented her research work to the academia there and also attended a seminar and workshop in relation to her doctoral study.
- A passionate researcher of music and Samskrtam, Sumithra has participated in seminars and made paper presentations on topics related to music, and Samskrta like, ‘ Musical elements in Shishupalavadha’ in AIOC and ‘Role of Anubandha in Varna’ in MU Seminar on Musical Forms.
- Sumithra is a committee member of Samskrta Ranga, an organization devoted to popularizing Samskrt theatre, for which she sings regularly.
- She was involved in the Sangita Sampradaya Pradarshini Translation project undertaken by The Music Academy.
- In 2018 December the Music Academy brought out the publication ‘Melaragamalika of Maha Vaidyanatha Sivan’ for which Sumithra has authored the English translation.
Sumithra’s husband Dr. R. Vijay Madhavan is a Bharatanatyam dancer & Guru.