Harini Rao (Hindustani Classical Vocalist)
Harini Rao is a Hindustani classical vocalist based out of Hyderabad. She is a Sangeet Visharad from Akhil Bharat Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Mumbai. She started learning Hindustani Music as a child and has been a regular performer in many Hindustani concerts in India and abroad.
Harini was the recipient of the Pandit Jasraj Award for Promising Talent and Excellence in Hindustani Classical Music in 2009 and later won many awards bestowed by the Government College of Music (Hyderabad) and Kala Sangam Group. Harini has also a few film songs to her credit and has won the Big FM Best Singer Award (female) for Oka Lalana (film Jyo Achutananda).
Her performances fetched her recognition from stalwarts in Hindustani classical music like Padma Vibhushan Dr. Prabha Atre, Pt. Jasraj, Vidushi Smt. Veena Sahasrabuddhe, Vidushi Smt. Padma Talwalkar, Pt. Phalguni Mitra and also Carnatic vocalists such as Sri. Malladi Suribabu, Smt. Sudharani Manda and Malladi Brothers.
Driven by aesthetics and bhaava (feeling emoted by notes), Harini Rao’s niche expertise lies in Khayal, Thumri, Dadra, Tappa and Bhajan art forms. Having a strong flair for languages, she is also proficient in Urdu Ghazals. While her mother tongue is Telugu, and she took it as a challenge to master the Hindustani language and has also learnt Marathi, Tamil and Sanskrit which helped her render some of the unique compositions and genres like Abhangs, Natya-geet, Slokas and Stothrams.
Harini has been one of the active advocates of collaborations and has collaborated many times with Carnatic vocalists, instrumentalists, Kathak danseuses and even fusion bands to produce unique musical output that is steeped in aesthetic experimentation. Harini collaborated with some of the young artists for IndianRaga, a popular YouTube Channel that promotes collaborations in Indian classical music.
She has led teams of select participants on innovative approaches in Indian classical music and served as creative lead/mentor on Ragalabs, an initiative by IndianRaga. Harini Rao started her training with the late Smt Swati Phadke and Smt Manjusha Patil. She’s currently training with Anuradha Kuber.
Harini has given stage performances across the globe, the most notable ones being in the USA (California, Dallas, Albany), Netherlands and France.
In India, Harini’s performances at Madras Music Academy, Hyderabad Literary Festival, Isha Yoga Center (Coimbatore), Sringeri, Bhadrachalam and Srisailam Temples, and at Taramati Baradari Festival by Govt. of Telangana, was applauded for her vocal range, style and sanctity of the craft.
Harini Rao believes that an art form like Hindustani Music requires not only years of training but also immense love for the craft, which will make the art and style shine in the performances. She hopes that music lovers develop a more nuanced appreciation for this art form so that less-heard compositions get their due and continue to live through performances by many more artists like her.