Music - Personalities - Sangita Kalanidhi R.K. Srikantan
Sangita Kalanidhi
R.K. Srikantan

Vidwan R.K. Srikantan was born in 1920 to a distinguished traditional family of musicians of Rudrapatna in Hassan district in Karnataka which is situated on the banks of the river Cauvery.

He was felicitated and honored with the title Karanataka Sangeeta Ratna under the joint auspices of Sri Parthasarathy Sabha, Forum of music lovers and Saraswati Gana Sabha, Bangalore in 1978.
Childhood & Education
Srikantan is the youngest son of Late Sri Krishnasastry who was a great scholar in Sanskrit and Kannada, a noted poet, versatile artist and also a Harikatha Vidwan. Srikantan's grand father Sri Narayanappa of Bettadapur was also a great musician and a very close friend of Sri Veena Sheshanna of Mysore.

After taking initial lessons of music from his father at a tender age and later from his illustrious brother, ikantan came under the influence of all leading musicians of yore from the south.

The noteworthy features of Srikantan's music are strict adherence to Sruti, clear cut pronunciation of the text and equal emphasis on rhythm with simultaneous concentration on Bhava and Bhakti aspects of music. In fact he can be safely considered to be the last of the surviving veterans of traditional Carnatic vocal music in Karnataka.
Srikantan has been particularly instrumental in giving wide popularity to the Devaranamas of all Haridasas and especially of Purandaradasa throughout the country by his accurate rendering of the songs investing them with depth of tone and continuity of flow. Srikantan has been performing for over five decades throughout the length and breadth of the country in all leading sabhas and festival series. He has been featured in National programmes and also in the Radio Sangeetha Sammelan programmes several times and thus he has contributed significantly to the enrichment of this divine art. It is also a matter of pride that Sri Srikantan belongs to the Tyagaraja Shishya Parampara (Sri Thyagaraja - Walajapet Venkataramana Bhagavathar - Mysore Sadasiva Rao - Veena Subbanna - R.K. Venkataramasastry - R.K. Srikantan).

Apart from being a great performer, Srikantan has another distinction to his credit, that of being a very great teacher which is amply testified by a school of knowledgeable disciples, including Srikantan's own son Sri R.S. Ramakanth, Smt. Rathnamala Prakash, M.S. Sheela, T.S. Sathyavathi and others. By this Srikantan has joined the select band of master performers cum teachers like Tiger Varadachar, Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Musiri Subramanya Iyer.
Honours conferred on him
An arts graduate from Mysore university (1947), Srikantan has been the recipient of many awards and titles in recognition of his outstanding merit and services to the cause of music.

* He was invited in 1985 and 1986 by the Sri Venkateswara Temple Committee, Pittusburgh, U.S.A. for teaching assignment and also to give a series of concerts across U.S.A.

* He was honoured with the title Gana Bhaskara by Annavasathi Sangha, Bangalore in 1947.

* He was honoured by the Bangalore city corporation as the Best Teacher in 1973.

* He was honoured with the title Ganakala Praveen by the Guru Seva Mandali, Bangalore in 1976.

* He was felicitated and honoured with the title Karanataka Sangeeta Ratna under the joint auspices of Sri. Parthasarathy Sabha, Forum of music lovers and Saraswati Gana Sabha, Bangalore in 1978.

* He won the coveted National Award (Central Sangeeth Natak Academy Award) for the year 1979 by the Government of India followed by the State Award (State Sangeetha Academy Award) in the year 1981 by the Government of Karnataka.

* He was unanimously selected to preside over the 13th Musician Conference under the auspices of the Bangalore Gayana Samaja and conferred the title Sangeetha Kala Ratna in the year 1981.

* He was conferred with the title Gayakachoodamani by the Tulaseevana Sangeetha Parishath, Trivendrum, in 1983.

* He was conferred with the T.T.K. Memorial Award by the Music Academy, Madras in 1983 as the best Musician.

* He was awarded the 1991 Haridasa Award by the Purandara Pratishthana, B'lore.

* He was awarded the Palant Subramanya Pillai Award by Percussive Art Centre, B'lore in 1992.

* Chowdaiah National Level Award by Academy of Music, 1994.

* Saptagiri Sangeetha Vidwanmani by Thyagaraja Trust, Tirupathi, 1994.

* Karnataka Rajya Sangeetha Vidwan by Govt. of Karnataka in the year 1994.

* Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 1996 by the music Academy, Madras.

* Kanaka-Purandara award by Govt. of Karnataka in 1997.

In addition to this Srikantan has been serving the cause of music of a member of expert's committee of music Academy, for six years. He retired as the music Producer of A.I.R, B'Lore after a meritorious service of 32 years. He is a Top Ranking Artist in the A.I.R artist gradation. He has given more lecture demonstrations in all leading sabhas of the country. He was appointed as the visiting professor by the Government of Kerala in the Government Music College, Palghat.

In 1986 he was invited as the Visiting Professor by the department of Oriental Music, University of York, Toronto for a six month teaching assignment.

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