Rudrapatnam Brothers

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Rudrapatnam Brothers
Origin Arkalgud, Karnataka, India
Genres Carnatic, Classical
Years active1956 (1956) – present
MembersShri R.N. Thyagarajan & Shri R.N. Tharanathan

The Rudrapatnam Brothers are an Indian Carnatic vocal duo, consisting of brothers R. N. Thyagarajan and Dr. R. N. Tharanathan. The brothers come from a family of musicians from Rudrapatna village off the Kaveri banks in Arkalgud Thaluk of Hassan district in the southwest Indian state of Karnataka. Vocalist Tiger Varadachariar, on seeing the musical atmosphere there, once claimed that "Rudrapatnam is the Thanjavur of Karnataka". Music, Veda adhyayana, and studying Sanskrit were integral parts of their family tradition.


They have the honour, as first Carnatic Vocal duo to receive the third highest civilian award of the country "Padma Sri" by the Government of India for the year 2018.

Early life and career

They are grandsons of R. K. Krishna Sastry, a musician, Harikatha exponent, playwright and a Sanskrit and Kannada scholar. They are sons of R. K. Narayana Swamy, a disciple of Musiri Subramania Iyer, the doyen of Carnatic music. Their uncles are R. K. Venkatarama Sastry, R. K. Ramanathan and Sangita Kalanidhi Padma Bhushan Dr. R. K. Srikantan.

They were initiated into Carnatic music and trained by their father and Sastry, the famous violinist and disciple of Sangita Kalanidhi Mysore T. Chowdiah.


Thyagarajan earned a M.Sc. in mathematics and worked as a lecturer in mathematics for several years before joining All India Radio in 1976. He was the Assistant Director, Chennai Doordarshan Kendra and retired as Deputy Director, Doordarshan Kendra, Bangalore in 2003.

Tharanathan earned a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in organic chemistry and was a Chemistry Lecturer and retired as Additional Director, Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition in Central Food Technological Research Institute (C.F.T.R.I), Mysore. He was a visiting professor and Fellow at Max Planck Society, Germany and a recipient of Alexander Von Humboldt Fellowship. He has visited Germany several times and worked on research projects.

Musical career

One review saw the brothers as deeply influenced by their predecessors, describing their music as adhering to the tradition of Carnatic music. [1] They claim influences from Sri Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Sri GNB, Sri Ramnad Krishnan and Sri Tanjavur S Kalyanaraman.

They claim the tradition of Saint Thyagaraja Swamy Sishya Parampara in more than one way. Musiri, their guru’s guru belongs to the sishya lineage of Manambuchaavadi Venkatasubbayyar. Sastry was a sishya of Veena Subbanna who was part of the Walajapet sishya parampara and sishya of Mysore Sadasiva Rao.

They emphasize the music of Nayaki, Varali, Begada, Mukhari, Sahana, Madhyamavathi and Thodi.


They began their concert career in 1956 and since then performed regularly around the world. They have given performances across India accompanied by artists such as Lalgudi Jayaraman, M. S. Gopalakrishnan, V.V. Subramanyam, M. Chandrasekaran, Ramanathapuram C. S. Murugabhoopathy, T. K. Murthy, Palghat R. Raghu, Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman, Vellore Ramabhadran, Karaikudi Mani, V. Kamalakar Rao, Trichy Sankaran, Srimushnam V. Raja Rao, K.S. Manjunathan, V. Harishankar and T. H. Vinayakaram.

In 2016, the Rudrapatnam Brothers received the coveted Central Sangeet Natak Academy Award from the honourable President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee. In 2017, the brothers received prestigious "Sangeetha Kala Acharya" Award from the Madras Music Academy.


YearTitleGiven by
1961, 1963, 1964 & 1965AIR Music Competitions in Carnatic classical and Light classicalDr. S. Radhakrishnan, the then president of India. The Brothers won the prizes individually in consecutive years in Classical and Light Music categories.
1979Gana SudhakaraKarnataka Sangeetha Nrithya Academy
1992-Karnataka State Rajyotsava Award
1995Ganakala ThilakaCarnatic Music Society, Goa
1999Musiri Subramanya IyerNeraval Singing, Music Academy, Chennai
1999FelicitationsBharat Cultural Integration Committee, Chennai
2000T.S.Sabhesh Iyer and K.Ponnaiah PillaiMusic Academy, Chennai
2002FelicitationsMaharajapuram Santhanam Foundation, Chennai
2003Sangeetha Kala TapaswiVaggeyakara Aradhanotsava Samithi, Mysore
2003Karnataka KalashreeKaranataka Sangeetha Nrithya Academy, Bengaluru
2005Thyagaraja PrashastiBengaluru Nagarathnamma Trust
2005Sangeetha VidhyanidhiPresident(s) of the 12th Music Conference, JSS Sangeetha Sabha
2006Artists of the YearBengaluru Gayana Samaja
2006Gayaka Kala BhooshanaShri Thyagaraja Gana Sabha Trust, Bengaluru
2007Swaralaya ShrungaSuswaralya College of Music, Bengaluru
2008Swaramurthy V.N.Rao Memorial National AwardBengaluru
2008Asthana VidwanShri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham
2011KalajyothiNadajyothi Shri Thyagaraja Bajana Sabha, Bengaluru
2014Gana VaridhiM A Narasimhachar Music Foundation, Bengaluru
2015Sangeet Natak Academy AwardCentral Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi
2016Sangeetha Kala Acharya AwardMadras Music Academy, Chennai
2017Sangeetha Kala Rathna AwardBengaluru Gayana Samaja, Bengaluru
2018Padma SriGovernment of India

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  1. Srikanth, Venkatesan. "Perfect melodies". The Hindu. Retrieved 18 June 2011.