R. K. Srikantan
Rudrapatna Krishnasastri Srikantan
14 January 1920
Rudrapatna, Hassan district, Karnataka
|Died||17 February 2014(aged 94)|
Rudrapatna Krishnashastri Srikantan (14 January 1920 – 17 February 2014), known as R. K. Srikantan, was a vocalist of the Carnatic musical tradition of South Indian music. He was awarded the Madras Music Academy's Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 1995.
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 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, a violin player who often accompanied M S Subbulakshmi. Srikantan also received training from veteran musicians like Veene Subbanna and Chowdiah
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 characterised by sahitya shuddham (correct pronunciation and diction) and shruti shuddham (refinement of pitch).
Among the award received by Srikantan are:
Srikantan rendered teaching programs on the radio (On Amruthavarshini 100.1 FM).
Srikantan died on 17 February 2014 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 Rathnamala Prakash is also his disciple, who achieved fame and success in Sugama Sangeetha or light music.