Born in 1948 at Bobbili, Dr. Pappu Venugopala Rao had his initial education in Vizianagaram and later at the Andhra University, Visakhapatnam. Dr. Pappu has three Masters in Telugu, English and Sanskrit Literatures, a Doctoral degree in Sanskrit and Telugu from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, Doctor of Letters in Indology from Tumkur University and an All India Gold Medal in Business Management from Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. He started his career as teacher in schools and colleges, teaching a variety of subjects ranging from Physics, Mathematics to Sanskrit and Telugu Literature. He had a 32 year long stint with the American Institute of Indian Studies, Chennai. He joined the AIIS as Director (South) in 1980 and retired in June 2008 as the Associated Director General, and has been a Consultant with the same organization till April 2010.
Dr. Pappu now holds many important portfolios in prominent institutions, • Visiting Professor Radhakrishnan Chair, University of Hyderabad • Visiting Professor, Tumkur University, Karnataka • Member, Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi, • Advisory Board Member Shasun Jain College for Women, Chennai He is the coordinator of the Sri Venkateswara Bhakti Channel of Tirumala Tirupathi Devsathanams. Dr.Pappu is consulted frequently by artistes from across the globe on various subjects ranging from Music, Dance Literature to Academic Administration.
He is also involved in framing syllabi to many courses of dance and music in renowned institutions across the country. Dr. Pappu has played a key role in the establishment of the Advanced School of Carnatic Music (ASCM) which started functioning from this year (2010) at The Music Academy, Chennai. He is the convenor of the Academic Council of the ASCM where focused training is given to aspiring students in the field of Carnatic music with its diverse styles of performance.
Dr. Pappu has been an expert committee member of the prestigious Music Academy Chennai for the last two decades, and is also one of its Secrataries. Presently he is the Convenor of the Experts Committee of The Music Academy and conducts the morning lecture demonstrations sessions during the December season. Dr. Pappu is the Editor of the monumental project of translation of Sangita Sampradaya Pradarshini (SSP) of Subbarama Dikshitar (a hundred year old work in Telugu that documents the theory and practicalmusic of the 18 and 19th centuries) in to English, with commentary which is being published by The Music Academy.The first volume of SSP will be released during the December Season of 2010. Dr.Pappu is also the Editor of the prestigious Music Academy Journal since 2008.
Dr.Pappu teaches occasionally at Kalakshetra Foundation, the intricacies and nuances of Padams and Javalis. He has recently been nominated to the Academic Council of Kalakshetra Foundation, Chennai. At the University of Hyderabad he teaches to the post graduate students of Dance twice a year, on various subjects ranging from Kinesiology, Yoga, Dance, Composers whose compositions are used in dance, Research Methodology, Rasa Theory etc.,
He is a regular reviewer of books on Music, Dance and Religion for ‘The Hindu’ and a contributing Editor for the dance and music monthly ‘Sruti’. He is an Asukavi in Sanskrit and Telugu and can compose poetry instantly on any given topic. He performed Ashtavadhanam, a literary fete of gymnastics where he answers 8 scholars simultaneously in poetry and won the title Ashtavadhana Sekhara when he was in his thirties.
He has won the Best Paper Awards several times at The Music Academy, Chennai. He has also won the award for the Best Lecture Demonstration of Kuchipudi Dance at Sri Krishna Gana Sabha, Chennai. The SVBC (Sri Venkateswara Bhakti Channel) TV channel of Tirupathi produced and telecast a program entitled Annmayya Samkeertanarchana, with compositions of Annamacharya in 52 episodes each of 30 minutes duration with Dr.Pappu’s detailed live commentary for all the 150 compositions and Dr.Balamurali Krishna’s lyrical guidance.