Born in 1947 in village Bobbili in Andhra Pradesh, Shri Pappu Venugopal Rao is a musicologist and a leading authority on dramaturgy. He holds a DLitt and a doctorate degree in Sanskrit and has postgraduate degrees in English and Telugu. He was trained in music by the legendary Guru Dr M. Balamuralikrishna, under whom he was privileged to imbibe his music education for more than three decades, from 1980-2016. He has also received training in Veena, Mridangam and Kuchipudi dance. An erudite scholar, Shri Rao was a committee member of the Music Academy in Chennai and also served as Secretary of the institution. A visiting professor at Kalakshetra, Chennai, he has authored sixteen books and has edited eighteen volumes. In recognition of his work, Shri Rao has received several awards and honours, including the Sangita Samrat by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, an honorary DLitt has been conferred on him by the Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Tirupati, and he has received the title of the Natya Kala Visharad from Sri Krishna Gana Sabha. Shri Pappu Venugopal Rao receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution in the performing arts.