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Sathiraju Venumadhav was a rare musician who’d let ‘bhava’ dominate his rendition

April 24, 2019 11:21 am | Updated 11:21 am IST

Carnatic vocalist Sattiraju Venumadhav 
 Photo:Nagara Gopal

Carnatic vocalist Sattiraju Venumadhav Photo:Nagara Gopal

With his in-depth and expressive rendition, Sathiraju Venumadhav was at forefront among the younger generation of classical musicians. The 46-year-old Carnatic vocalist who passed away due to a heart ailment, leaves a void in the field of classical music. Steeped deep in the traditions of classical music, he was known for his simple and unassuming personality. When we had met him six years ago, he mentioned the music in his life was due to God’s will. “There are no singers in my family,” he had said. In his childhood, when doctors performed a cleft lip repair surgery, they assured that the boy would be able to talk. Venumadhav not only spoke but also created a niche for himself with his classical singing.

Dancer Ananda Shankar Jayant recalls the association with Venumadhav and says she feels a family member of Shankarananda Kalakshetra (dance academy) has passed away. His uniqueness was that he would blend easily in any rendition. Be it his classical solo performances or turning into an accompanying singer for Shankarananda’s dance productions, Venumadhav was meticulous on stage. Ananda shares it was Eelapata Sivaprasad who connected her to Venumadhav and for more than 20 years, he had been an integral part of their institution singing for their compositions and choreographies. His sruthi , diction and bhava were accurate and classical music enthusiasts cherished the purity of his expression whenever he performed. “His music was more about the bhava and that embellished his music and our dance also,” shares Ananda adding he was a talented artiste who focussed only on his art and prayers. “There was not a single evil bone in his body.”

Married with two high-school going children, his dream was to be known as the ‘classical musician India is proud of.’ His untimely death may have cut short his dream but not his singing repertoire which makes everyone proud. He lives in his classical music and manodharma.

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