Born on 9 May 1927 in Mysore. Shri R. Sathyanarayena is one of our leading scholars in the disciplines of music and dance. He was a teacher of chemistry for many years (1949-84), but at the same time pursued his researches in the performing arts, and disseminated his knowledge through his writing and public interaction. He learnt practical music from his mother Varalakshmi, a disciple of Veena Sundarashastri of the Mysore durbar.
Through his study of ancient and medieval texts of music and dance, tested through practical application, Shri Sathyanarayana has made wide-ranging contributions in these fields. His work has carried over into education, psychology, philosophy, and cultural anthropology. He is the author of over seventy publications on dance and music including critical editions of Sanskrit treatises, original works on these subjects, and a number of translations and commentaries. Among his original works are Pundilrikamala, Suladis and Ugabhogas of Kamaraka Music, The Mela Triad of Venkathamakhin :A Critical Study, and Shruti: The Scalic Foundation . The treatises edited by him include the Abhinava Bharata Sarasangraha of Mummadi Chikkabhupala, Sarngadeva's Sangeetratnakara, the Chaturdandi Prakashika of Venkatamakhin, the Ragalakshanam of Mudduvenkatamakhin, and Matang’s Brihddesi . He has translated the Sangeet ratnakara makara, the Chaturdandi Prakashika, and many other works into Kannada. He is also a well-known public speaker on music, dance, philosophy, yoga, tantra, the Upanishads and related subjects.
Shri Sathyanarayana has led several delegations of musicians and musicologists at international seminars and festivals. He is associated with learned institutions in India and other countries, and is at present President of the Indian Music Congress.
Shri Sathyanarayana has been honoured with the Kamataka State Rajyotsava Award, the Karnataka Sangeetha Nrutya Academy Award, and honorary D. Litts of the Indira Kala Sangit Vishwavidyalaya, Khairagarh, and Mysore University. He has received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for scholarship in the performing arts (2008), and was conferred the title of Rajya Sangit Vidwan by the Government of Karnataka (2011).
Shri R. Sathyanarayana is elected Fellow of Sangeet Natak Akademi for his contribution to the study of Indian dance and music.