Profile of Dr.Radha Bhaskar (Musician & Musicologist)
Dr.Radha Bhaskar is a rare combination of a vocal musician, musicologist, teacher, journalist, music educator and cultural organizer.
As a multi-faceted personality, Radha has created an indelible mark in all her chosen fields and contributed significantly towards the cause of music in multifarious ways.
As a vocalist, Radha is a senior disciple of Padma Bhushan Sri.P.S.Narayanaswamy and earlier, she learnt under Smt.Jaya Shankar (Kolkata) and Vairamangalam Sri Lakshminarayanan. She has performed concerts in all leading sabhas in India and abroad. She has given programs in all leading music channels like Sun Tv, Jaya TV, Podhigai, Vijay Tv and Raj TV and many online forums as well.
With a view to enlighten rasikas about Karnatic music, she has performed many thematic concerts on topics like – Trimurthy Vaibhavam, Thyagaraja Vaibhavam, Navarathnangal, Pancharathnangal and Saptharathnangal highlighting the contribution of eminent Vaggeyakaras, Tamil Composers, Papanasam Sivan, Raga Vaibhavam focussing on different ragas etc. These are demo- concerts where in a concert format, along with singing, interesting aspects on the theme is shared for the rasikas.Spectacular Congregational singing by children-
Radha had the rare privilege of conducting a spectacular group singing programme by 5,000 school children from 100 schools in October 2004 in Chennai in the presence of the former President of India, Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam. She also coordinated two Ganathon Programe where 10,000 school and college children participated in a mass singing. She also received a special grant from the Ministry of Culture to conduct a mass group singing under the theme – “ National Integration through Music.”
Dr.Radha holds a MA ( Music) and Doctorate degree in music. Her thesis was on the topic - “Karnatic Music Concerts – an analytical study.” She was the recipient of the Junior Research Fellowship from UGC for five years to pursue her research.
Radha has curated and organised many One Day Seminars & National Conference for Mudhra organisation which was supported by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.
She has presented many lecture demonstrations and moderated several panel discussions in eminent sabhas. Her lectures are noted for their simple and lucid communication of theoretical concepts aided by suitable practical examples. She is a regular participant in the National Seminars on Performing arts organised by Kalakshetra and Ministry of Culture like Kala Samprekshana, Vitasta (The ever flowing legacy of Kashmir) etc. She is much sought after to Chair and moderate panel discussions on various music related topics.
She is the recipient of the Junior & Senior Fellowship from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India for doing research work.
Realising the need to create discerning audience for Karnatic music, Dr.Radha has been sharing her music knowledge by conducting Music Appreciation Programmes (MAP) and over 15,000 people have benefited from this. This is a weeklong/ daylong crash course which takes the rasikas on a beautiful journey into the nuances of Karnatic music in a simple and communicative way.
Radha also conducted a 12 months music appreciation series “Sangeetha Saurabha” supported by the Ministry of Culture. She was invited to Delhi by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, Govt of India to conduct a two days workshop on “Appreciating Karnatic Music. The Embassy of Muscat and organisations in Singapore and Malaysia also organised music workshops by her and it had an overwhelming response.
Radha has given many educational lectures- demonstrations and chaired many prestigious panel discussions all over India.
Music Critic And Editor
Dr.Radha has been the Editor of the monthly arts magazine Samudhra (a magazine for music, dance, drama) for 18 years. This magazine with its noteworthy content including valuable interviews of eminent personalities and articles won wide acclaim amongst the art community. Earlier, she worked as Music Critic for The New Indian Express for 8 years under the pen name Bharani. She has also contributed articles for the journals of Sangeet Research Academy (Kolkata) and Shanmukhananda Fine Arts.
Dr.Radha has 28 years of experience as a cultural organiser and is the Treasurer of the unique cultural organization Mudhra, founded by her husband Mudhra Bhaskar which has made a distinct name for itself through its innovative and creative approach to performing arts. Mudhra has many milestones to its credit and devised many new concepts to encompass more people into the fold of fine arts and appreciate it better. In 2019, Mudhra celebrated its silver Jubilee in a grand manner with month long programs by top artists.
Radha has curated many seminars and national conferences for Mudhra under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture. Through Mudhra organisation, Radha has conducted music workshops for school children, taught music to Corporation School children, conducted Inter- school Music quiz contest and also organised Bhajan Mela for children.
Radha and her husband Mudhra Bhaskar offer free webcast of all their programs to a global audience through their Paalam TV. They also run Paalam Radio, which is a 24 hours free channel dedicated exclusively to Carnatic music.
Radha was invited to present a talk on “ Challenges of running a cultural organisation” as part of Dhaara, a project curated by the Ministry of Culture and Sastra University.
A one of its kind online series CM 365 was completed recently by her where she presented a video byte every day, on various topics of interest in Carnatic Music continuously for 365 days. This series has been widely appreciated by the music community as a valuable material for documentation. All the 365 episodes can be viewed in mudhrabhaskar YouTube channel.
Earlier she also presented a 25 part series titled “Insight” which was also an educative online series sharing in a detailed manner some interesting aspects about Karnatic music.
Radha has interviewed several eminent personalities like Smt.DK Pattammal, Dr.TK Murthy, Dr.PB Sreenivos, Bombay Jayasree and others for All India Radio and also presented for AIR, several special programs on music. One notable project was the documentation of the life and contribution of DK Pattammal for an archive project of AIR.
Radha has served as an Expert Member in the Ministry of Culture, Government of India and also been a Member of the Board of Studies of Indian Music at Madras University, Hyderabad University & Annamalai University. She was also a panel member for setting question papers for the exams of BA, MA and Ph.D courses in Music.
Radha was selected as a member of the Rotary International's “Group Study Exchange Programme” to visit Arizona, USA in 1997. She addressed 20 Rotary Clubs in America and enlightened their members about Indian arts and culture.
Presently, she is the Director of the Vani Sangeeta Gurukulam of Sri Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha, Chennai and takes advanced classes there.
Some Impportant Titles & Awards Received
- Yuva Kala Bharathi from Bharath Kalachar
- Kala Seva Bharathi from Bharath Kalachar
- Sangeetha Lakshana Praveena from Music Forum and Sruti magazine
- Gandharva Kala Rathna, Gandharva Gana Sabha, Chennai
- Sangita Seva Mani, Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam
- Sangita Sudhamayi, Sri Ram Samaj, Kakinada
- Sabha Bhairavi, Bhairavi Gana Sabha
- Kala Samrakshini, YACD, Chennai
- Kala Seva Vipanchee from Vipanchee Trust
- Sathya Pathrika Sundaram, Bharathanjali, Chennai
- Sangeetha Kala Bharathy, Nedamangalam VVS Foundation
- Acharya Award, National Teachers organisation
- Sparkling Diamond Award from University Women’s Association, Madras
- Outstanding Musicologist award from Narada Gana Sabha.
- Musical Excellence Award” by Sivan Arts Academy, Chennai
- “Women of Excellence” by Priyamana Thozhi organisation
- Women achiever award from Women Economic Forum, Chennai
- Women Achievers award from and Rajalakshmi Institutions
- Seva Rathna by the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana, USA