April 26th, 2010 2:58 am
Radhika Chopra, Dr
Born and brought up in Jammu, Radhika started learning music from Pt. J.R. Sharma, at the tender age of six. She started performing on stage and for All India Radio, Jammu, at a very young age. Although, she excelled in academics, she wanted to pursue music and wanted to be a professional singer. After graduating from Govt. College for Women, Jammu, she was encouraged by the then Governor of the state Shri Jagmohan and so she came to Delhi and joined the Faculty of Music and Fine Arts, Delhi University for M.A in Hindustani Music. She topped the University and got a gold medal. She did her M.Phil. followed by Ph.D. from the faculty itself. For Ph.D, she chose the topic related to the semi-classical forms. Only the theoretical part of the topic did not satisfy her. She wanted to know the practical part of it also that was when she started learning Thumri, Dadra from the most eminent Guru, Padmashree Smt. Shanti Hiranand, and renowned disciple of Begum Akhtar.
It is not very often that one comes across a voice like Radhika’s – A voice with soul and emotion. With her meticulous selection and flawless rendition, she instantly establishes a rapport with the listeners. Radhika is blessed with extraordinary mellifluous voice which with years of training has been honed to perfection. Besides being gifted with a rich and sonorous voice, she is well groomed and it reflects in her performances. Her flawless rendition of Ghazal, Geet, semi-classical compositions is sure to enthrall the audience. The strength of her performance is not only in the fact that she can render the most complex of compositions with remarkably effortless ease but more because even the simplest of her renditions has the ability to touch the heart strings of the audience.
She is an “A” Grade artist of AIR and Doordarshan. Radhika has travelled allover the World for stage concerts and has won several awards. Effortlessness, spontaneity and natural ease are the hallmarks of Radhika’s performances. Radhika Chopra is an empanelled artist of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) for performances abroad. Consequently, in 2004 she performed to an over flowing audience accommodated on the stage at the Nehru Centre, London. The Ghazal program was very well received and as a result she performed extensively for private gatherings all over England including one at the Pakistan Community Centre, London. During the K. L. Saigal Centenary Year 2004-5, Radhika made a special effort to give several soulful performances of Saigal’s famous songs to bring back a lot of nostalgia for the listeners in India and abroad.
In December 2004, the Ministry of Culture released a coffee table book on Saigal followed by a concert by Radhika at the India International Centre, New Delhi. In May 2004, Radhika gave a soulful concert of bhajans to an overflowing hall of listeners at the Teenmurti Auditorium on the occasion of Jawaharlal Nehru’s 40th Death Anniversary. The concert was attended and appreciated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and several other dignitaries. In 2005, she received the “Rajiv Gandhi Ekta Samman” for her outstanding contribution and achievements in the field of music. She performed in ICCR’s Second Thumri Festival and on the opening night of the Delhi Sahitya Kala Parishad Ghazal Festival 2006 and also performed in Karachi, and Islamabad, Pakistan 2006.
She was chosen to sing Ghazals of the Mughal Era at the launch of William Dalrymphe’s book The Last Mughal in Delhi and Jaipur in 2006-07. Had a very successful trip to the Gulf countries sponsored by ICCR.