Mullapudi Sreerama Murthyis synonymous with the mridangam. The artist, who hails from a family of mridangam vidwans, began playing from the tender age of five under the guidance of his guru and father Mullapudi Lakshmana Rao.
Sreerama Murthy, who retired as a Top Grade Artist from AIR Vishakapatnam, has accompanied several top-ranking musicians including Voleti Venkateswarulu, Semmangudi, Sripada Pinakapani, Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna, D.K. Pattammal and M.L. Vasanthakumari. Among the many awards conferred on him, Sreerama Murthy holds the Rashtrapati Award he received from President Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, dear to his heart.
One of the foremost among the early group audio engineers, K.S. RAGHUNATHAN is considered an expert in his field even today. Music was a family tradition as one of his cousins was D.K. Pattammal. As a five-year-old, Raghunathan evinced interest in Carnatic music, and his parents placed him under Sonti Narayana Rao’s care.
He began his career with Chennai AIR where he joined as an engineering assistant. His love for music led him to the inimitable G.N. Balasubramanian, who nurtured his talent. His passion for the art took him to Toshiba EMI in Japan, at that time a world leader in audio equipment. Raghunathan has the unique distinction of having recorded Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna singing, and playing the viola and mridangam, all in one stereo sound. Besides, Raghunathan has penned a few varnams, kritis and thillanas.
An academician par excellence, DR. RITHA RAJAN hails from a family of musicians in Kanchipuram. She began her music lessons under Ramnad Krishnan before acquiring more classical knowledge from T. Brinda, T. Muktha and Maruthuvakkadi Rajagopala Iyer.
Armed with a vast repertoire of compositions, Ritha pursued academic studies in music, and is best known for her pioneering research on Actual Performance in Carnatic Music.
Besides performing for over four decades, Ritha has also been teaching and was professor and head of Department of Music at Queen Mary’s College, Chennai. She is recognised as a prominent resource person for researchers working on the kritis of Tyagaraja and Syama Sastri, and padams of Kshetrayya.
The Music Academy will confer the TTK Award on Mullapudi Sreerama Murthy and K.S. Raghunathan, and the Musicologist Award on Dr. Ritha Rajan at the Sadas on January 1, 2013.