Among the more talented violinists in the Carnatic music circuit today, Charulatha Ramanujam, whose manodharma during her solo turns is as exquisite as her support of the main artist is faithful and restrained, has somehow managed to achieve this delicate balancing act with assurance and finesse.
In an era fast evolving into one of regular teams representing the preferred choice of the vocalist, here is one violinist who seems to be the favourite of many a front ranking lead musician.
Born in a family steeped in classical music, Charulatha Ramanujam was initiated into music by her late father K. Rangaswamy, a vocalist of merit. With support from her mother Komalavalli, Charulatha proved a meticulous student, who later learnt from Anoor S. Ramakrishna of Bangalore, and Pudukottai R Ramanathan, a disciple of Kumbakonam Rajamanickam Pillai.
Charulatha’s unmistakable violin pedigree has received further polishing in the form of guidance from her current guru, Sangita Kalanidhi RK Srikantan, the nonagenarian who continues to enthral audiences with his magnificent voice.
An 'A' grade violinist in All India Radio, Charulatha is a regular in the in South Zone hook-up of AIR and Doordarshan, and has been featured in Doordarshan’s National Programme of Music.
Charulatha has won prizes in major competitions including the first prize in the Senior Violin competition of Gayana Samaja, Bangalore, and the best violin accompanist award in the senior concerts of Indian Fine Arts, Chennai. Her other honours include prizes at the junior level at The Music Academy, Chennai, the Ambujam Krishna award, Ananya Yuva Puraskara and the Kalki Krishnamurthy Award. Charulatha has travelled extensively in India and abroad as both soloist and accompanist.