R. K. Srikantan

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Rudrapatna Krishnashastri Srikantan (14 January 1920 – 17 February 2014) was a vocalist of the Karnataka sangeeta tradition of South Indian music. He was awarded the Madras Music Academy's Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 1995.

Dr. R. K. Srikantan's carnatic concert on 16 December 2006

Early life[edit]

R.K Srikantan's grandfather was a contemporary of Veene Sheshanna (on the right) and Veene Subbanna

Srikantan was born to a Sankethi Brahmin family in Rudrapatna, Hassan district of Karnataka, on Makara Sankranti day, 14 January 1920. His father R Krishnashastri was an orator, singer of Gamaka (storytelling), playwright, poet, and a harikatha vidwan. His grandfather, Narayanaswamy of Bettadapura, also known as Veena Narayanaswamy was a Veena instrumentalist and a contemporary of Veene Sheshanna and Veene Subbanna. Srikantan's mother Sannamma was also a good singer of her times but died when Srikantan was two years old.[1]


Srikantan went to Sadvidya Pathashala and Banumaiah High School in Mysore. Later, he obtained his BA degree from the Maharaja College, Mysore.


His father Krishnashastri was Srikantan's first tutor and he moved to Mysore after his wife's death. Later, Srikantan was mentored by his brother R. K. Venkatarama Shastri. He also had the privilege of getting trained under the tutelage of veteran musicians like Veene Subbanna and Chowdiah[1]

Guru-shishya tradition[edit]

R.K Srikantan belongs to Guru-shishya tradition of Saint Thyagaraja

Guru-shishya tradition of R. K. Srikantan.[2]


R.K Srikantan was an avid attendee at all concerts in Mysore during the era of the Wodeyars. Srikantan during those days was highly influenced by the Nadaswaram vidwans of his time. He was also highly influenced by maestros of the likes of Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Musiri Subramania Iyer, G N Balasubramaniam and Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer.

Srikantan's singing is characterized by sahitya shuddham (correct pronunciation and diction) and shruti shuddham (refinement of pitch).


Dr. R. K Srikantan has many laurels to his credit. Here is a list of some of the Awards and Titles in his name.

  • Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award by the Government of India in 1979.[3]
  • State Sangeet Natak Akademi Award by the Government of Karnataka in 1981.[4]
  • Sangeetha Kalanidhi Title from the Madras Music Academy in 1995.[5]
  • Kanaka-Purandara Award by the Government of Karnataka.
  • Padma Bhushan Award by Government of India in 2011.[6]
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Tagore Ratna in 2012.
  • Sangeetha Prabhakara Award in 2013[7]
  • Nada Vidya Bharati Award in 2012 by Visakha Music and Dance Academy.[8]
  • Sathguru Thyagaraja Hamsadhwani Award in 2011[9]
  • Gana Bhaskara Title by Annavasathi Sangha, Bangalore in 1947.[4]
  • Best Teacher Title by the Bangalore city corporation in 1973.[4]
  • Ganakala Praveen Title by the Guru Seva Mandali, Bangalore in 1976.[4]
  • Karanataka Sangeeta Ratna under the joint auspices of Sri. Parthasarathy Sabha, Forum of music lovers and Saraswati Gana Sabha, Bangalore in 1978.[4]
  • Gayakachoodamani Title by the Tulaseevana Sangeetha Parishath, Trivendrum, in 1983.[4]
  • T.T.K. Memorial Award by the Music Academy, Madras in 1983 as the best Musician.[4]
  • Haridasa Award by the Purandara Pratishthana, Bangalore in 1991.[4]
  • Palant Subramanya Pillai Award by Percussive Art Centre, B'lore in 1992.[4]
  • Chowdaiah National Level Award by Academy of Music, 1994.[4]
  • Saptagiri Sangeetha Vidwanmani by Thyagaraja Trust, Tirupathi, 1994.[4]
  • Karnataka Rajya Sangeetha Vidwan Title by Government of Karnataka in the year 1994.[4]


Srikantan rendered teaching programs on the radio (On Amruthavarshini 100.1 FM), where he clinically covered every detail of songs he taught.


Having lived a full life dedicated to Carnatic classical music, Dr. R.K Srikantan died on 17 February 2014 at around 9 pm after a brief illness.


Some of Srikantan's disciples include his son R S Ramakanth, M. S. Sheela, T S Satyavati, R A Ramamani, M T Selvanarayana, Amith Nadig and H. K. Narayana. His daughter Ratnamala Prakash is also his disciple, who achieved fame and success in Sugama Sangeetha or light music. [10][11][12]


  1. ^ a b RAMNARAYAN, GOWRI (12 January 2007). "Purity of the highest order". Chennai: The Hindu. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "R.K.Srikantan — A Brief Introduction". Chennai. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  3. ^ SNA Awardees List Archived 30 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Sangita Kalanidhi R.K. Srikantankiik". Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  5. ^ Recipients of Sangita Kalanidhi Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "Padma Awards Announced" (Press release). Ministry of Home Affairs. 25 January 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2011. 
  7. ^ "Award for R. K. Srikantan". India: The Hindu. 1 November 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "Award for R. K. Srikantan". India: The Hindu. 12 August 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "Musician R. K Srikantan honoured with award". India: The Hindu. 28 March 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2011. 
  10. ^ Face-to-Face with Sangeeta Kalanidhi R.K.Srikantan « ಅಲ್ಲಿದೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಮನೆ
  11. ^ ThatsKannada.com - Face to Face with R.K. Srikantan, exponent of Carnataic Music
  12. ^ MusicalNirvana - R K Srikantan

13. ^Tribute to R.K.Srikantan: https://web.archive.org/web/20140301000842/http://sahapedia.org/r-k-srikantan-1920-2014/

External links[edit]