In an era where fusion and new age music dominate the current Indian music scenario, Dr. Radhika Chopra, is a rare performer who continues to excel and please the connoisseur with her traditional puritan raga based ‘gayaki’.
Born and brought up in Jammu, Radhika started learning music from Pt. J.R. Sharma. She began performing on stage and for All India Radio Jammu at a very young age. After graduating from Jammu, she moved to New Delhi for her post graduation in Hindustani classical music. She also completed her Ph.D. in Hindustani classical music from the Delhi University.
Radhika Chopra is an extremely talented and a versatile artiste. She received her training in Thumri, Dadra and Ghazal gayaki, from an eminent guru Smt. Shanti Hiranand who herself is a disciple of the renowned Ghazal singer ‘Begum Akhtar’. Her popularity as a composer and singer spans beyond India, to countries like Pakistan, United Kingdom, Canada, East Africa and the Far East. She has performed to packed audiences. Her loyal audiences in these places have been charmed and enthralled by her melodious & soul stirring renditions, and fabulous personality. Her excellence and finesse, her crisp and clear voice coupled with her impeccable diction of both Hindi and Urdu languages have won her accolades of the discerning listener right across the globe.
Radhika Chopra believes that Ghazals, Urdu shayari and tradition Indian music have a future. “The credit for its revival goes to Jagjit Singh Sahib. His untimely passing away has caused a setback as he had an ability to relate to the youth. As long as there are dedicated people working towards promoting Indian traditional music has a great future not only in India but in all countries with Indian diaspora,” says Radhika.
Radhika Chopra has a very high regard for the Indian writers and poets, including Sahir Ludhianvi. About Sahir sahib she says that one can see a lot of realism in his works. “His writing had a lot of sensitivity and was above religion cast or creed. He always wrote as an Indian. He had great command over both Urdu and Hindi and wrote Bhajans with the same ease as he wrote Ghazals and Nazms. Some of the most famous Bhajans in Hindi cinema are his creations”.
Dr. Chopra’s accomplishments have been recognized by the highest authorities in the field of Indian music. She has been empanelled by the ICCR to perform in foreign countries to promote Indian classical music and has been commissioned by the Indian Ministry of Culture to commemorate legendary figures such as ‘Ghalib’ and Kundan Lal Saigal.
She has also performed at the ‘Jahan-E-Khusrau’ Sufi Festival, held to mark the death anniversary of Hazrat Amir Khusrau.
By Vivek Uberoi