FACETS

AS AN ORGANIZER

Astounding ability to make a musical event extravagant has been the imprint of Sri R. K. Padmanabha. The purpose solely being upliftment and highlighting the greatness of Karnatik music. Sri Padmanabha has organised many mega events across the state like the Conferences through Karnataka Ganakala Parishat, Veda Naadotsava, Vadiraja Gana Jnana Yagna, Srimadhwadiraja Kalamahotsava, where in the intent is purely to unearth the rich tradition of Karnatik music and encourage budding artists. To preside over an audience of stalwarts, connoisseurs, students and public as high as thousands, for days together with calibre is something that one cannot even think of.

 

He has instituted ‘Nada Sanmana’ – an exclusive gesture to felicitate the artists through a composition about their accomplishments and contributions in their fields, specially composed for the occasion.

 

He is also credited with organising musical excursions called the “Gaana Yatra” where he is accompanied by his students to various holy places like Thiruvaiyar, Thiruvarur, Varanasi, Pancha Dwarka, Singapore etc. that brings in the zeal for the love of the tradition. Few events that he has organized are:

 

  • ‘B. V. Jagadish youth festival’, an annual music festival held in the month of January for encouraging youngsters in the music fraternity.

  • Successful Presidency of ‘Karnataka Ganakala Parishat’ since 2014.

  • Tyagaraja aradhana mahotsava, on the banks of River Kaveri at Rudrapatna every year.

  • ‘Rudrapatna Sangeetotsava’, one of the very rarest among the music festivals across the country where a variety of musicians, both leading and upcoming musicians perform in this festival every year.

  • ‘Sri Madhwadiraja aradhana mahotsava’ in the US since last four years.

  • Also every year, an eminent scholar is recognised and conferred upon with A.Na.Kru prashasthi at Arkalgudu in a special event organized by him.

  • Aaradhana mahotsavas at Vadiraja Kala Bhavana 4 times a year of different Vaaggeyakaras and Haridasas.

As the president of Karnataka Ganakala Parishat, RKP successfully organised a musical extravaganza of 16 days for the Golden jubilee celebrations of the Parishat. It consisted of around 15 interesting and informative lecture demonstrations, 50 high class music concerts by top most artists of Karnatik music, in which a minimum of 300 artists participated. A huge number of students and connoisseurs gathered every single day to witness the Karnatik music carnival that was organized in a magnificent way.

Most of the houses in Rudrapatna have stories to tell, of musicians, of Vedic experts with its rich musical heritage. The village has the honor of having contributed numerous artists to Karnatic music who had once occupied the position of court musicians at the Mysore palace! It was the Rama Mandira here that stood as a testament for one of the finest and exceptional music since this time. Sri R.K. Padmanabha along with the Rudrapatna Sangeetotsava Samiti formed an organization to revive the dilapidated Rama Mandira and restore its past glory. Not only does the Mandira has a remodeled and refurnished enclosure now, but also has continued to witness the Sangeetotsava held every year under R.K. Padmanabha's presidency attracting musicians from various parts of the country. The Mandira has a new look yet involving all the glorious memories from the past with pictures of veterans displayed on the wall.

 

The Rudrapatna Sangeetotsava was instituted in the year 2002 and is a 5 day long music festival that has people from all over the country drifting into this village during May each year. Grand recitals, concerts are though the center of attraction, lecture demonstrations and talks are a must here. A distinctive part of this festival is of the last day with more than 200 musicians and the villagers rendering the TyagarajaPancharatna in unison on the banks of river Kaveri. Also an award in honor of Nacharamma (a female leader who lead a group of Sankethi's out of Sengottai (T.N) to Rudrapatna) is conferred upon artists to recognize their work of art.

 

Rudrapatna has gained rather revived its glory and recognition today. Thanks to the efforts of Vid R.K. Padmanabha and the Sangeetotsava Samiti for their constant efforts in preserving the culture and heritage of Rudrapatna.

He is also credited with organising musical excursions called the 'Gana Yatra' where he is accompanied by his students to various places that brings in the zeal for the love of the tradition.

  • Kashi Yatra

  • South India - Thiruvarur, Thiruvayyar, etc.

  • Pancha Dwarka

  • Chardham

  • Singapore

  • Ettayapuram

  • Guruvayoor

  • Mantralaya

  • Teerthalli

AS A SOCIAL REFORMER

Sri R.K. Padmanabha plays a vital role in contributing to the betterment of the society. He has brought into light, the beauty of Karnatik music compositions through the concept of goshti gayana, to a wide variety of people in the society; especially among the women and the youth. This helps preserving not only the musical heritage but also the rich culture and the tradition.

 

Also R.K. Padmanabha creates history by choosing music as a mode of protest for a social cause by rendering krithis during the protest for extensive hours with his students. One such 'Gana-Pratibhatane' was successfully conducted for the improvement of roads at Arkalgud. Similar such walkathons have been conducted in and around Bangalore for the propagation of this beautiful art form -

  • Mysore road - 14 Kms

  • Kanakapura road - 21 Kms

  • Bannerghatta road - 17 Kms

  • J.P. Nagar to Omkar hills - 11 Kms

 

He also has published more than 100 books and CDs on music to propagate the rich heritage and sanctity of this great art form.

 

His contributions to the village of Rudrapatna has been remarkable with the reviving of ‘Sri Rama Mandira’, lodging space for the artists, Swachha Bharat Abhiyaan on the streets of Rudrapatna and planting saplings with dedicated names (72 melakarta ragas) on either side of the streets, tutoring the rural children about the importance of art and music in life, etc. In 2016, an eye camp was organized at Rudrapatna, where more than 2000 villagers were facilitated with free eye check-up and approximately 150 people were operated free of cost. The Primary school at Rudrapatna was given a new landscape which enhanced the beauty of the school’s environment and was renovated in various aspects such as a Ranga-Mantapa newly built for cultural activities, separate toilets, computer laboratories, repainting the walls of the schools with new and educative quotes, musical quotes throughtout the premises. These rural students are also exposed to classical music training and encouraged by providing yearly scholarships and annual sports competitions. Also, a Kalyani was rejuvinated in Arkalgudu taluk with the help of the RKP abhimanigala sangha.

AS A GURU

Samuhika Sangeeta Shibira

Ganakalabhushana R.K. Padmanabha has to his credit of training more than 1000 music students across Bangalore to perform august and noble krithis such as Navavarna, krithis by different composers, 60 krithis of Haridasa in unison and perfect harmony with a perfect grip over the raga and laya.

Goshti Gayana

It is incredible that he has taught around 900 classical compositions including Navagraha, Chaturdasha Raga Malika of Sri Mutthuswami Dikshitar, Swarajathis of Sri Shyama Shastry, Ghana Pancharatna of Sri Tyagaraja, Lakshmi Shobhane of Sri Vadiraja Swami to the goshti group alone.

 

Workshops

Various workshops are conducted yearly, at different locations such as

  • Vadiraja Kala bhavana

  • Ramanathapura

  • Rudrapatna

  • Sringeri

  • B.R. Hills

  • Mattur and so on

where students learn the several intricacies of Karnatik music. He also conducts workshops and classes every year at the United States for students abroad.

Gana Chakra

It is a new concept coined by RKP where he encourages and helps build confidence among the students by providing them an opportunity to perform at various platforms on different occasions, individually. Several thematic Gana Chakras have been conducted over the years -

  • Melkote - Raga Tana Pallavi

  • Shanivarpete - Kamavardhini

  • Maloor - Bhairavi

  • Gattihalli - Kharaharapriya

  • Gattihalli - Todi

  • Vadiraja Kala bhavana - Varna

  • Tirthalli - Mutthaiah Bhagavathar

  • Belur, Handral, Kaushika - Short concerts

 

Another opportunity for practice of concert performances is at Vadiraja Dhyana Mandira as a part of ‘Vadiraja Nada Seve’ concerts, which is a monthly concert series. 

Many of his disciples are front runners in today's karnatik circuit. Apart from this, he has also trained a lot of young artistes who continue to add their touch to this genre’s unique beauty.

 

"The most successful people are those who accept, and adapt to constant change."

In these times of a global pandemic, conducting classes for students has become close to impossible. By being updated in today's technology, RKP adapted to this change quickly and conducted 51 classes on conference calls, teaching 120 krithis including complex krithis like amba neelambari, pattividuvarada, evarani, navaratri krithis and so on. He also recorded a series of krithis while explaining the meaning and intricacies of it. Apart from this, he wrote articles on various subjects such as voice culture while imparting theoretical knowledge.

AS A COMPOSER

Guru Sri R.K. Padmanabha has penned more than 500 krithis with his pen name ‘Padmanabhadasa’ that include the entire variety of compositional forms of Karnatik music like the Varnas, Kritis, Devaranamas, Javalis, Ugabhogas, Suladi, Namavalis etc.

He has not only composed in Kannada, but also has the credit of composing in different languages such as Sanskrit, Sankethi, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi. He is credited with constituting more than 25 new ragas which have been presented effectively at elite platforms. He also has composed krithis in the entire melakarta raga system that is undemanding and accessible by the commoners.

 

His special research work on Shiva-nama ragas which were confined to musical treatises  were  brought to  light by composing krithis  in ragas such as Shivakamboji, Shambhudyuthi, Chandrashekharapriya, Rudrabhisheka, etc.

Compositions on the Navagraha in Kannada, as a tribute to Sri Mutthuswami Dikshitar; tuning of Adi Shankaracharya’s 100 Soundarya lahari shlokas in 100 individual krithi format and of Purandara kritis in 72 melakarta ragas for which not only does he bag the credit of being the only composer to have composed in  Kannada in all the 72 melakartas but also to have received State Academy Award for the same. Countless endeavoursand ventures as these makes him a nyja Vaggeyakara.

AS AN AUTHOR

Sri R.K. Padmanabha continues to inspire thousands with his narrative publications. As one reads along his books, goes into a state of bliss that he/she could only imagine of. Such is his prowess of narration. While musical novels - Anantanada, Nadabindu, Vipravikrama are the public favourites, ‘Purandaradasa Sangeeta Pitamahare…re’, a factual research book is the latest. He has also penned down his autobiography, ‘Nenapinangaladali’ that brings in a lot of excitement to its readers to peek through the life of this doyen. He has also composed ‘Padma Kavithe’ – a book comprising of Bhavageethes in Kannada.

AS A DRAMATIST

Sri R.K. Padmanabha has composed music and enacted in musical plays on the life of Karnatik musicians like the trinities- ‘Nadajyothi Muthuswamy Dikshitar’, ‘SadguruTyagaraja’, ‘Devi Upasaka Shyama Shastry’, ‘Prahlada Bhakta Vijaya’ and on Haridasas such as ‘Sri Dasa Purandara’, ‘Sri Vadiraja Vaibhava’ etc. He has also scripted new dramas such as ‘Naada’, ‘Purandara Mahima’ that leave an everlasting memory of these worshipped personalities of the musical guild in the hearts of the audience with outstanding and soul stirring performances.

R.K. PADMANABHA

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