Vidushi Smt. Radha Srisailam
Carnatic Vocal and Veena
Vidushi Smt. Radha Srisailam, a distinguished Carnatic musician, has been active in the cultural scene at Mumbai, Mysore and Bangalore for over three decades, giving several veena and vocal concerts under the aegis of various forums and sabhas.
Hailing from a family with scholarly traditions, she was initiated into classical Carnatic vocal music at a very young age by her elder sister Smt Pushpa Srinivasan, a distinguished performer on concert platforms and also on the radio. After receiving sound training in vocal music, she developed a keen interest in Veena. She underwent rigorous training under distinguished gurus, Smt M.B. Padma, Vidwan Devakottai Narayana Iyengar, Smt Bhagawati Mani and Vidwan C.K. Shankaranarayan Rao, a distinguished teacher in the Veena Sheshanna tradition of Mysore. In Mysore, she underwent advanced training under Prof. R Visweswaran, a distinguished teacher, composer and Veena player who has innovated his own unique style of veena playing.
Learning under these gurus Radha Srisailam has imbibed the spirit of these traditions and has blossomed into one of the finest vainikas. She has combined the best of these traditions in an appealing manner and her dedicated training as a vocalist can be discerned in how she plays the Veena. She achieved a high grade in the vidwat examination in Veena from the Karnataka board. Additionally, she graduated with a Masters in Music from Mysore University in First Class, with a thesis on “The Role of Technology in Music”, covering old and new, musical and computer technologies that help propagate Carnatic and other forms of music today.
Her veena performances at Tirupathi Devasthanams’ Annamacharya Kala Kendra and Tyagaraja Sabha, Ganabharathi highlighted the melodiousness and emotional depth of her music. The department of Kannada and Culture Mysore invited her to present a veena programme featuring morning ragas under the “Udyanavanadalli Udayaraga” series. Her recent key performances include a 3 hour long veena concert at the Indian Institute of World Culture, Bangalore, also at ISKCON Bangalore and in the Bangalore Habba, at Ghokhale institute of Public Affairs Bangalore. She has given a veena concert at Livermore and a vocal concert under the aegis of “LOTUS” California USA. She organized and led a group that presented an orchestral rendering of Carnatic music at the ISTPA conference at IIT Bombay. Her rendering on veena compositions of Purandara Dasa at the Haridasa Sangeethotsava at Jaganmohana Palace emphasized the devotional aspect of music.
Radha Srisailam has been a leading member of the “Sapta Swara” group, which has been organizing Thyagaraja Aradhana Celebrations every year at IIT Bombay campus, and has rendered the Pancha Ratna Kritis on Bombay Doordarshan as early as in 1980. She continues to carry on this tradition to this day organizing Purandara Thyagaraja Utsava every year in Bangalore. Radha Srisailam has regularly featured in various sabhas like Bhandup fine arts, Chembur fine arts, Kala Kendra, etc. Some of her memorable vocal and veena concerts have been at the ISKON auditorium at Juhu under the aegis of Bhakti Kalakshetra, Mysore Association Bombay, under the aegis of Tarangini Academy, to cite a few. Radha Srisailam is well versed with playing the electronic veena and has successfully experimented with this medium in various concerts as well.
Radha Srisailam, besides being a concert performer is a highly popular music teacher, having trained over a hundred committed students. She is Director of Apoorva Academy that was started to re-introduce the children and youth of today to the ancient classical traditional music. Students are trained rigorously, yet in a manner that kindles their interest in music. Shlokas and mythical stories introduce cultural elements to younger kids. She has prepared her older, more experienced students for Karnataka Government Junior, Senior and Proficiency (Vidwat) examinations in Veena and Vocal.