Srikantan popularised Haridasa Kritis

The Carnatic vocalist won many awards in long career

Renowned Carnatic vocalist R K Srikantan passed away in the City on Monday night, barely a month after his 94th birthday.

The end came at 9.30 pm at Fortis Hospital in Seshadripuram where the doyen of Carnatic music was admitted earlier in the day after he complained of chest congestion.

His son Kumar Srikantan said the funeral will take place on Tuesday. Srikantan, who was often described as ‘Semmangudi of Karnataka,’ had given over 75 concerts and lecture-cum-demonstrations in 2013, when he was 93, and had proved that “music is the essence of my life”.

Family of musicians

Srikantan was born on January 14, 1920 into a traditional family of musicians of Rudrapatnam situated on the banks of River Cauvery in Hassan district.
 His father R Krishna Sastry was an orator, ‘gamaki’, poet and Harikatha vidwan. His grandfather Veena Narayanaswamy was a contemporary of Veene Sheshanna and Veene Subbanna. 

After learning music from his father in the initial years, Srikantan was trained by his illustrious brother R K Venkatarama Sastry, who was a leading violinist and a disciple of the legendary T Chowdaiah. Srikantan came under the influence of all leading musicians of yore from the South. 

The noteworthy features of Srikantan’s music were his ‘shruti shuddha,’ clear cut pronunciation of the ‘sahitya’ and his ‘bhaava’-laden ‘krithi’ renditions.

He played a pivotal role in popularising ‘devaranamas’ of all Haridasas, particularly Purandaradasa. 

All the ‘devaranamas’ tuned by him are in the time honoured ragas such as Todi, Bhairavi, Mohana, Kalyani and Dhanyasi.

When he was 75, Srikantan was honoured with the Sangeetha Kalanidhi award by the Chennai Music Academy and he received the Padma Bhushan when he was 91.

 Srikantan has trained over 500 students over the past eight decades and one of them is his daughter and popular singer Ratnamala Prakash.

Turning point

“My appointment at Akashvani Mysore in the late 1940s proved a turning point in my career, as my interactions with stalwarts like G N Balasubramaniam and Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer enriched my repertoire. 

“I learnt at least 10 kritis from Musiri Subramania Iyer,” Srikantan had said in one of the interviews to the media.

Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi? Who will win the battle royale of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019


Get real-time news updates, views and analysis on Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on Deccanherald.com/news/lok-sabha-elections-2019 


Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram with #DHPoliticalTheatre for live updates on the Indian general elections 2019.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry