Rudrapatna Krishnashastri Srikantan
Award Name : Padma Bhushan
Year of Award : 2011
Award for : Arts
Location : Hosur, Karnataka, India
Rudrapatna Krishnashastri Srikantan was a vocalist of the Karnataka Sangeeta tradition of South Indian music. He was born on on 14 January 1920 in Rudrapatna. His father R Krishnashastri was an orator, gamaki, playwright, poet, and a harikatha vidwan. His grandfather, Narayanaswamy of Bettadapura, also known as Veena Narayanaswamy was a vainika 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. 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 Venkata Shastri who accompanied vocalists as a vocal or violin-accompaniment in concerts. Srikantan went to Sadvidya Paathashaale and Banumaiah High School in Mysore. Later, he obtained his BA degree from the Maharaja College, Mysore.
Srikantan was an avid attendee at all concerts in Mysore during the era of the Wodeyars. Srikantan during these days was highly influenced by the Nadaswaram vidwans of his time. He was also highly influenced by maestros of the like of Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Musiri Subramania Iyer, G N Balasubramaniam and Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer. Srikantan's lineage of gurus is traceable right to Tyagaraja of the trinity of Karnataka Sangeeta. Srikantan was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1979. He was honoured with the Sangeetha Kalanidhi title from the Madras Music Academy in 1996. The Karnataka government has honored him with the Kanaka-Purandara award. Padma Bhushan by Government of India in 2011.