Sangita Kala Acharya Smt. Seetha Rajan, a versatile musician, a Top Grade artist of the All India Radio, Scholar and Guru is well known for her traditional and chaste music. She was born in 1947 to Sri. N. Subramaniam and Smt. Lakshmi Subramaniam, who had great passion for classical music. At an early age she came under the tutelage of a dedicated teacher, Sri Kittamani Iyer from whom she learnt for over a decade. Subsequently a National Talent Scholarship (Govt. of India) gave her an opportunity for advanced training under Sangeeta Pitamaha Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, who honed her talents and broadened her musical vision. She learnt Hindustani vocal music from Sri Bhim Shankar Rao in Hyderabad. She holds a Masters Degree in Music.
Endowed with a soothing and mellifluous voice, she announced her arrival into the world of classical music by winning the First Prize in the All India Radio competition in 1967 and several other laurels all in a row. Performances in a number of prestigious Sabhas followed. Today her music is characterized by profound Vidvat and Vishranti. Her rendering of Vilambakala Krithis such as the Kamalamba Navavaranam of Dikshitar is well known. She has evolved her own style, absorbing the ingredients of great stalwarts and following her own musical instincts. With her knowledge of several languages and her emphasis on correct diction, she has been able to capture the mood and spirit of any song she sings, which in turn is translated into a unique Anubhava for rasikas.
Adherence to tradition has not bound her from being innovative. Ever analytical, she has been constantly experimenting with new ideas particularly in the field of musical pedagogy. Her contribution to the world of music, one may say her Magnum Opus, is the creation of Bala Brundam Sangita Gurukulam, an institution of quality, where disciplined and holistic training in music and knowledge of other allied subjects like languages and instrumental training are emphasized. The aim of this institution is to qualitatively prepare a small band of committed learners who are to contribute to future generations holistically as Musicians, Scholars and Gurus.
Eight disciples of Seetha Rajan are graded artists of the All India Radio. A few are faculty members in colleges. Three disciples are working towards their doctoral thesis. Six senior students are proud winners of the coveted Sangeetha Sri, title from Rasika Ranjana Sabha, Trichy. A few are training young learners in music.
Seetha Rajan has carried out research on several musical subjects and has produced and staged a number of thematic presentations alongwith her disciples. Some of the popular ones are Prahlada Bhakti Vijayam, Nauka Charitram, Krishna Leela Tarangini, Devi Darsanam, Ramanubhavam, Guruguho Jayati, Varuna Ragam, Shivaya Namaha and Eternal India.
She has contributed to the Carnatica Archival Centre (CAC) as a consultant and teacher for their Cyber-vidyalaya and has been a member of the Experts Panel for their Raganubhava series of lectures and presentations, wherein the Balabrundam Gurukulam participated actively for a couple of years
With an innate flair for composing music, she has been involved in setting music for lyrics. She has composed the musical score for the dance ballet Ahimsashraya Ashoka for Smt. Krishnaveni Lakshmanan, ex-principal of Kalakshetra. She has released a twin album on Muthuswamy Dikshitar's Kamalamba Navavarana Krithis and another record in HMV's Parampara series, Prahlada Bhakti Vijayam.
Seetha Rajan was involved with The Music Academy, Madras for a while as a lecturer. During the same period she also worked as a research scholar in The Music Academy assisting Prof. S.R.Janakiraman. Equally proficient in musicology, on occasions she has conducted Music Lecture- Demonstrations / Workshops, as a UGC resource scholar in Universities in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
With a Senior Research Fellowship awarded by the Department of Culture, Governmentof India, she worked on her thesis- An attempt at analyzing and restructuring the curriculum for students of Carnatic Music (vocal). Seetha Rajan is currently a visiting professor in Kalakshetra, Chennai and a member of (Experts) Advisory Committee of the Music Academy, Madras.
Two books have been published by Seetha Rajan with notations of Navagraha Krithis and Kamalamba Navavarana Krithis of Muthuswamy Dikshitar and Tarangams of Narayana Tirtha.
Keen to disseminate her technique to benefit young learners of classical Carnatic music, Smt. Seetha Rajan has been involved in "Project Bodhana". Her first set of music lessons titled Bodhana both in CD and cassette form, have been since released through Charsur Digital Station, Chennai. This Bodhana CD / Cassette has since been widely welcomed and appreciated.
Honors and Awards
Seetha Rajan was honoured with the respected Birudu ACHARYA CHOODAMANI by Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai in August 2006. The prestigious SANGITA KALA ACHARYA Birudu by The Music Academy, Madras was awarded during the 80th Annual Conference and Festival to Smt. Seetha Rajan in January 2007.
Smt. Seetha Rajan was awarded a special citation by the Rasika Ranjana Sabha, Trichy, Tamilnadu in 2007 for outstanding contribution in the field of Classical Music.