A rare phenomenon in the world of music, Anantha started his musical journey on the mridangam, the principle drum of the Carnatic tradition. The grandson and disciple of the great mridangam maestro, Shri. Palghat R. Raghu, he first learned the fundamentals of the mridangam under his uncle, Shri. R. Ramkumar and then began an official tutelage under his grandfather at the age of five. He performed his first concert at the age of seven and before the age of twenty performed alongside a rare generation of Indian classical musicians like, Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Prof. T.N. Krishnan, Dr. KJ Yesudas, Mandolin Srinivas, among many others. During this period, he received numerous awards from traditional organizations of classical music in India. Most notably, he has won the categorical Best Mridangist Prize from the flagship institution for promoting classical Indian music, the Music Academy, Madras, five times. He was awarded the State of the Arts Award from the New Jersey government twice in 1997 and 1998 as part of the National Endowment of the Arts' effort to promote cultural awareness in the U.S.A. He is also a special interest student of tabla under Ustad Zakir Hussain.
> > > > > >
In 1999, he was invited to perform for the Millennium celebrations in Berlin, Germany at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and at the EXPO 2000 in Hanover. A year later, he performed at the historic Sadler's Wells Music Festival in London. In fall of 2006, at the invitation of Fred Frith, the British experimental guitarist he performed for the seminal New Jazz Meeting for SWR 2, a national radio station in Baden Baden. In October of 2007, he was invited by Rudresh Mahanthappa to perform with the group, Samdhi, at the Festival of the Firsts in Pittsburgh, PA. In July of 2011, he performed in a Carte Blanche Artist Series at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam with the same group and was the first mridangam artist to appear in Carnegie Hall’s Shape of Jazz series in NYC, all with the group Samdhi.
> > > >
In May of 2008, he was a featured soloist in the Grammy nominated, Miles from India tour, which premiered in Town Hall, NYC presenting the great Miles Davis's music with Indian instrumentation featuring jazz legends: Ron Carter, Dave Liebman Lenny White, Ndugu Chancler, and Pete Cosey.
In November 2014, he was invited to perform at the opening ceremony music for International Film Festival (IFFI)l in Goa and the closing ceremony of the National Games 2015 in Trivandrum with the actor danseuse Padmashri Shobana. In 2016 Spring, he was invited to perform with Ustad Zakir Hussain and the Masters of Percussion (MOP) through the United States and Europe. In 2018, MOP ensemble performed in Kathmandu to commemorate seventy year India- Nepal diplomatic relations. In May of 2018, Anantha performed with Kammern Ensemble- neue Musik for the prestigious Berliner Festspiele, MaerzMusik edition for the premiere of Memory Space by Alvin Lucier.
Anantha holds a B.A. in Western Music and Philosophy from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, and a Masters of Fine Arts in Electronic Music and Percussion from Mills College, California. He appears on Intakt Records, Echo Music and ACT Records. He currently serves as faculty of percussion at A.R. Rahman's KM Music Conservatory in Chennai, India.