On the occasion of the 3rd annual Brahmotsavams of the Sri Venkateswara Temple at Himayatnagar from 9th to 13th June, the Dharma Prachara Parishad of the Tirumala Tirupati Devastanams is presenting a recital of Annamacharya keertanas by Dr. Shobha Raju, on the inaugural evening tonite.
Dr. Raju is a name synonymous with Annamacharya keertanas, and she has with her single-minded devotion popularised the saint's keertanas even more. She learnt music from various gurus such as Pullaiah, D Seshagiri Rao, Pakala Munirathnam, Tiruttani Krishnamurthy, Prof Kalpakam and Dr. Nedunuri Krishnamurthy. She became one of the youngest graded artistes of the All-India Radio, and also had her first disc of Annamacharya keertanas released at the age of 14, in the direction of Saluri Rajeshwara Rao.
She was awarded the first scholarship of the Tirumala Tirupati Devastanams to study Annamacharya sankeertanas and became the first artiste of TTD. She was appointed by the TTD for the propagation of Annamacharya sankeertanas, and with her, the Annamacharya Project came into existence. Through the project, she gave innumerable concerts, in remote villages and in cosmopolitan cities. She has released more than 50 cassettes of the keertanas, in addition to multiple short films.
After resigning from the TTD in 1982, she established Annamacharya Bhavana Vahini at Hyderabad in 1983, through which she trains people in Annamacharya keertanas and nagara sankeertanas, for national level music competitions and music concerts. She was conferred upon the Annamayya Pada Kokila title by the Telugu Association of North America in 1989, Sankeertana Praveena by the Telugu Kala Samithi of Kuwait in 2000, and the Ugadi Puraskar by the Madras Telugu Academy in 1994, in addition to a bouquet of other awards. She was awarded a doctorate by the Telugu University in 2000.
Please contact the Dharma Prachara Parishad of TTD at 2322-0852/94404-98299 or Ramana, Program Secretary of Dr. Shobha Raju, at 98480-24042 for further details.