Saraswati Rajagopalan has been acclaimed as one of the leading Veena artists of Carnatic music today. Hailing from a music loving family, she started rendering solo performances from the age of 12. Saraswati has fine awareness and grip on the idiom of ragas and rhythm, a rich repertoire of classical compositions, and a mind open to new ideas, all of which has given an innovative and interpretative quality to her rendition with a fine blend of aesthetics.
Saraswati Rajgopalan has received accolades for chaste and scholarly music rendered with maturity and flawless fingering technique. Saraswati’s music abounds in nuances akin to vocal singing - gayaki ang. She has endeared herself to music lovers by her fascinating style, graceful, original and rooted in tradition. Saraswati's virtuosity on the instrument, with rich tonal quality has won her appreciation from music loving audiences all over.
Zooming out, she observes that the average Westerner is fascinated by “meditative” timbre of the veena. Such global appeal has prompted Saraswati to lately embark on a mission to spread the popularity of her instrument. As a founder member of the 2007-incepted Veena Foundation, she has been playing a key role in organising a flurry of veena festivals across the country.
About Veena :
The Veena is considered the queen of Indian musical ninstruments. Its history can be traced to the time of the ‘Vedas’, which describe it as ‘the embodiment of beauty and prosperity’. Occupying the premier position among the celebrated ‘Vadyatrayam’ – the Veena, Venu and Mridangam – the instrument is also mentioned in the ‘sutras’ and ‘arayankas’, the sacred books of the Vedic period. The present form of the veena is a polyphonous instrument designed and developed by Govinda Dikshitar during the reign of Raghunath Naik of Tanjore. It is often called the Tanjore veena or the Saraswati Veena.
In ancient times, the term ‘Veena’ was used for all stringed instruments. All stringed instruments are believed to have originated from the hunter’s bow, having since passed through several stages of evolution. After its transformation from the primitive bow, the veena spawned numerous string instruments throughout the country ranging from the single-stringed ‘Brahma Veena’ to the multi stringed ‘Shatatantri Veena’ more commonly called the ‘Santoor’.
The music of the veena is infused with qualities of divinity, gentleness, peace and sensuality.