Smt. Gayathri Venkataraghavan began her training in carnatic music at a young age under the tutelage of Smt.Rajalakshmi. She then learned from Smt. Padma Veeraraghavan, a disciple of Palaghat Sri.K.V.Narayanaswamy. She was also trained in various kritis by Smt.Rukmini Ramani, Sri.V.Subramaniam and Smt.Lakshmi Natarajan. Her advanced training was under Acharya Choodamani, the Late Sri.A.Sundaresan. He was an outstanding musician and a dedicated guru. He was a disciple of Sri.C.V.Krishnamurthy Iyer, Sri.Ramnad Krishnan and Alathur Sri.Sivasubramanya Iyer. She is presently under the guidance of Sri. P.S.Narayanaswamy, the torch bearer of the Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer tradition.
At a young age, as Gayathri Ramani, she won a number of prizes in inter-school and Inter-collegiate competitions as well as at competitions held by Music Academy and other sabhas including Indian Fine Arts Society, Mylapore Fine Arts and Saraswathi Vageeyakara Trust.
Gayathri Venkataraghavan is an ‘A TOP’ grade accredited artiste of All India Radio. She won the All India Radio National level competition in 1993. Her regular performances for the AIR include a prestigious National Broadcast in 2006. She has sung various themes for AIR’s archival purposes as well. She has performed for Doordarshan national and regional telecasts, and for various other television channels.
Gayathri had the honour of anchoring a Doordarshan documentary, Engum Nirai Nada Bhrahmam, a tribute to Smt. M.S.Subbulakshmi; the immortal icon of carnatic music. The concert prizes that she has won by the Grace of Almighty at the Music Academy conference, include the 2001 D.K.Pattammal award for Lady vocalist, the 2002 T.T.Rangaswamy award, the 2003 and 2004 H.Natarajan Prize, the 2006 Pappu Kamakshi Award and the award for Swara singing during the 2007 season.
She is also the recipient of many other prestigious awards including the Kalki Krishnamoorthy award, the Nada Oli title by Nada Inbam, the CMANA award instituted by The Carnatic Music Association of North America, the Dr.MLV Endowment by Narada Gana Sabha, the Bharath Ratna M.S.Subhulakshmi award given by Artists Federation, Chennai, the Shanmuka Sangita Shironmani title by Sri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts and Sangeetha Sabha, Mumbai and the Isai Peroli title by The Karthik Fine Arts Chennai.
She has been performing regularly at various centres in India as well as venues in USA, Cananda, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Muscat.
Photo : SHANKAR RAMACHANDRAN