Vidushi Saraswati Rajagopalan has been acclaimed as one of the leading Veena artists of Carnatic Classical music today. Hailing from a music loving family, she started rendering solo performances from the age of 12. She worked with AIR as a Staff Artist for over 30 years and her concerts have been featured several times in the National Program of Music on AIR, Doordarshan and Akashwani Sangeet Sammelan.
She is a TOP Grade artist of AIR and is also empanelled in the Outstanding Category of Artists with ICCR.
Education and Training
Saraswati Rajagopalan received her initial training from Smt. Radhamani Sharma of the Karaikudi Sambasiva Iyer school and was later trained by Padmabhushan & Sangeeta Kalanidhi, Shri. K. S. Narayanaswami (in Mumbai) and Shri T. S. Raghavan (in Delhi).
She did her MA in Music from Delhi University under the guidance of Sangeetha Kalanidhi, Padma Vibhushan Prof. T. N. Krishnan and Prof. T. R. Subramanian.
She has also attended workshops conducted by the legendary violinist – Shri Lalgudi Jayaraman – where the maestro taught his own compositions as well as select compositions of the Carnatic Trinity.
She is also an MA in English from Delhi University.
Playing Style & Characteristics
Saraswati Rajagopalan has a fine awareness and grip on the idiom of ragas and a rich repertoire of compositions. Her music abounds in nuances akin to vocal singing i.e. Gayaki-Ang and she is known for her virtuosity on the instrument, flawless technique and rich tonal quality.
Her music reflects the core values of the sampradaya of Carnatic music and is known for the strict adherence to classicism. Her manodharma while unfolding the ragas and her rendition of compositions, particularly in the vilamba-kalam (slow tempo) are soaked with Bhakti and Bhava that leaves the audience mesmerized. She is known for her chaste music and has endeared herself to music lovers with her fascinating style which is graceful, original and rooted in tradition.
She has a mind open to new ideas which has given an innovative and interpretative quality to her renditions.
She has presented concerts all over India and abroad in prestigious organizations and has enthralled the layman and connoisseurs alike.
She has received several awards & accolades from an early age.
Mentorship, Workshops and Lecture-Demonstrations (Lec-Dems)
Saraswati Rajagopalan is a sought after artist in India and around the world by academic institutions and cultural organizations alike
- She has conducted workshops for music students in:
- The College of Liberal Arts, SUNY Purchase, New York, in 2015
- Music Department of Rotterdam Conservatorium, Netherlands in 1992.
- She has presented Lec-Dems as under:
- “Aesthetics in Music”, state-level seminar held at Delhi University in 2010.
- “Embellishments in Music“ in Delhi University in 2014.
- Styles of Veena Playing in India
- Voice of Veena from Vedic Times
- Origins and Dynamics of the Veena
- She has also presented lec-dems on similar topics on several occasions
- She has presented a paper cum radio feature on “Veena, the Queen of Musical Instruments” for the overseas broadcast, in 1988.
- She is part of the Expert Committee with
- The Ministry of Culture, GOI
- AIR Audition Board,
- The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR),
- Music Faculty, Delhi University
Saraswati Rajagopalan has rich experience in collaborating with artists across musical styles and genres.
- She has received acclaim for her Carnatic & Hindustani Jugalbandhis with artists like Bahauddin Dagar, Ronu Majumdar, Rupak Kulkarni, Kailash Sharma, Ajay Prasanna and Saeed Zafar Khan.
- She has also won praise for her “Veena-Venu-Violin” Concerts.
- She has performed a duet with Japanese Koto Player Yoko Nishi.
- She has collaborated with other musicians and also rendered solo performances for World Music Day organized by the French Embassy/Alliance Francaise.
- Further, she has rich experience in composing music for Ballets and Orchestra.
Important Performances & Concert Tours
- Has performed for Sangeet Natak Academy (SNA) for Morning Raga Series & International Yoga Day Celebrations
- The Indian Council For Cultural Relations (ICCR) sponsored her veena recitals in Australia, New Zealand and Fiji in 2006
- The Indian Council For Cultural Relations (ICCR) sponsored her ensemble – Tarang – on a tour of Morocco and Cyprus in 2019.
- She has performed extensively in USA, UK, Switzerland, France, Germany, Poland, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Dubai among other countries.
Teaching and Preservation of the Veena Heritage
- She is dedicated to the promotion and propagation of the veena and is one of the founder members of the Veena Foundation (now Bharat Veenalaya).
- She has been teaching Veena to students, both in India and abroad over many years.