Dr.Nagavalli Nagaraj is an exemplary vocalist of surpassing quality bestowed with a brilliant and resonant voice capable of traversing all the three octaves effortlessly. Her rich and electrifying voice takes audience out of frontiers. She has carved her niche in the field of music by mastering and rendering all the compositions of Carnatic music with immense versatility. Her music is distinct and unique abundantly packed with technical beauties and rich manodharma. Her audiences get carried away by the boundless creativity in terms of bhava and laya and also the diction of her voice. She is very efficient in communicating deeper human emotions with listeners of her music. Her repertory is rich and replete with hundreds of compositions starting from the songs of musical trinity, Sharanas and Dasas and modern composers too. In all one can say that unique feature about Dr.Nagavalli Nagaraj is that her music is very expressive with lyrical excellence. Her renditions exhibit knowledge of lyrical content of the compositions by way of sangatis, rhythmic pattern and rich manodharma. Veteran critic has reviewed and reported that significant feature of Dr.Nagavalli’s concert is bountiful variety in melody and rhythm.
Dr.Nagavalli Nagaraj hails from a family of musicians. She inherited the essence of Carnatic music from her father late Sri.K.S.Satyanath who rigorously trained her meticulously. She learnt sophisticated skills and emotional translations during her initial training which helped her cross horizons in terms of manodharma. Dr.Nagavalli Nagaraj as a child prodigy emerged with flying colors at a tender age of eight itself. She started giving full fledged concerts of commendable standard by then. Dr.Nagavalli Nagaraj did her post graduation in music from Bangalore University bagging a rank in the year 1982. She had her advanced training of music under tutelage of Late Sri Anoor Ramakrishna for two years who imparted all the nuances of music again. This was while doing her post graduation. Dr.Nagavalli Nagaraj was awarded a Doctorate degree from Bangalore University under able guidence of famous musicologist Dr.T.Shachidevi in 2002, by Submitting an advanced research thesis on the subject "Integrated study of the Kritis of Mysore Vasudevacharya". Till date she has performed thousands of concerts at home and abroad.
Dr.Nagavalli Nagaraj was invited by Veena vidwan Dr. Doreswamy Iyengar, the then Chairman of Karnataka Sangeetha Nritya Academy two decades ago to present exclusive audio recordings of kritis of Mysore Maharaja which has been preserved in State archives. It has helped and is helping many students and researchers of Carnatic music even today.
Dr.Nagavalli has several compositions to her credit in expounding, obscure and esoteric ragas. Her compositions sway from Tillanas to Ashtanayika Padams, from Kritis to Janapada folklore, from lilting Ragamalikas to complex and intricate Panchakalyani, Grahabheda Manipravala which have been sung and danced by eminent dancers and the like. She started composing very young when she was just fifteen year old taking every piece of Sahitya she could to find lying at home, think about a Raga which can adhere to the mood of the Sahitya and blend it with rich music and precise exposition. She has an inbuilt urge to venture in new directions and to explore new pastures. Clever adaptations of poetry provided by erudite scholar Shathavadhani Dr.R.Ganesh to tunes of Dr.Nagavalli Nagaraj has made every composition unique and awesome. Many of her kritis are vogue and popular in dance and music circles. Both jointly strike the Sahitya and Lalitya giving the art their own contribution of new dimension and horizon.
To list a few of her compositions:
- Grahabheda ManiPravala – The composition portraying the Grahabheda technicality of audava based raga
- PanchaKalyani – As the name denotes an intensive composition involving five kinds of Kalyani
- Tillanas – Highly explorative and gymnastic 11 tillanas which have Raga Bheda, Tala Bheda and Graha Bheda sensualities.
- Ashtanayika Padams- A favorite of all the dancers which have 9 Padams swooning to all possible moods of a heroine.
- MahaBharatha Katha Malika – A composition involving the essence of Maha Bharatha in sufficing ragas.
- Sudha Sindhu – A raga of her own creation and Vani Vinutha Sharvani a complex composition in the same
- Her own Kritis Asamana Lochana, Srimathi Janaka Jaathe, Sarasangi, Twangatharange Gange, Sumadhyama all written by Dr R.Ganesh and energetically composed by Dr.Nagavalli Nagaraj.
Dr.Nagavalli Nagaraj has won the confidence of the music connoisseurs all over and has been entitled as the top class musician of South India. She won a rank in her M.A Music examination and also went further researching on the music compositions of Mysore Vasudevacharya and laid a thesis on " Integrated Study of Mysore Vasudevacharya's Compositions " thus bagging her PhD.
She has to her credit many awards given by reputed musical Sabhas and institutions.
GANAKALA SHREE – Conferred by the prestigious Ganakala Parishat – Karnataka She was unanimously selected as the president of the Young Musicians Conference in the year 2000.
- SANGEETHA CHOODAMANI – Raghavendra Trust, Bangalore
- SANGEETHA SUDHAVARSHINI – Avni, Sringeri Mutt
- SANGEETHA VIDYA VARIDHI – Udupi Mutt.
- SANGEETHA VIDYA RATNA – Shubharam Trust, Bangalore.
- GANA KALA RATNA
- PRATIBHA SIMHA – Lions Club Bangalore
- She won the GOLD MEDAL from none other than Dr.M.BalamuraliKrishna- Murali Ravali Trust 1986 who acknowledged her as one of the top musician.
- MANDAVYA SANGEETHA SWARA NIDHI - Sai Sangeetha Trust, Mandya.
- ANJANABHARANA - Anjana Institute for Music Bangalore.
Generally Great performers turn out to be poor teachers of music. But Dr. Nagavalli Nagaraj is a happy exception to this rule. Her teaching capabilities are marvelous. By understanding innate potentialities and obvious limitations of students she moulds them to unique distinctions. She can teach any variety of Carnatic music and update students with galaxy of many ragas, different talas, multi-lingual compositions and original manodharma. She has taught and guided innumerable number of students since last 26 years. She worked as visiting faculty in Bangalore University for over 25 years. Presently she is working as visiting Professor in Jain University in the department of performing arts.
Her daughter and disciple Vid.Ranjani Nagaraj
Many of her disciples have turned out to be true performers, in particular her daughter Vidushi. Ranjani Nagaraj. She is being moulded in the crucible of both classical and devotional traditions. She is an over achiever. Dr.Nagavalli Nagaraj's influence of music made her a Vidushi when she was just 17. She has cleared rather swept all the three levels of examination conducted by Karnataka Government with an outstanding and brilliant performance in particular cent percent at a tender age of 12. Critics have admired and said that she is the Chip of the Old block. She has won innumerable no of prizes at all possible levels.
She gives solo performances and sings regularly with her mother in vocal duets.
Yugala Ranjani, Sunaada Ranjani and Nada Ranjani are the CD's containing audio recordings of mother-daughter duo.