The Vasantrao Deshpande Smruti Puraskar was conferred on Deepak Raja during the Vasantotsava music festival organised on 19 January 2014 in Pune. The award is given by the Vasantrao Deshpande Pratishthan every year for outstanding contribution to scholarship in the performing arts. It was instituted in memory of Dr. Vasantrao Deshpande, popular and erudite vocalist on the concert platform and regional theatre.
Deepak Raja received the award from the legend Vikku Vinayakram. The ghatam maestro gave a mind blowing performance before a 4000-strong crowd, which was also very appreciative of the awardee’s acceptance speech.
Deepak S. Raja, a columnist for Sruti, is among the finest contemporary writers on Hindustani music. He is the author of several books on Hindustani music and frequently contributes papers to seminars and prestigious journals on music. This scholar is also a musician who plays the sitar and the surbahar. Well versed in the traditional concepts of Indian musicology, Deepak Raja brings to his writing a fresh perspective using the conceptual tools and analytical methods cultivated by his careers in media research, business journalism and financial accountancy.