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K Rohini Subbarathnam

Living in a rural remoteness of Bajathur, Dakshina Kannada, Vid. Kanchana Rohini Subbarathnam has led a remarkable life of devotion, dedication and absolute sacrifice for Carnatic classical music. Her in-depth knowledge of music in practice and theory, combined with her masterful techniques to convey the most convoluted and subtle concepts of the art to commoners with ease, are rare found.


Rohini Subbarathnam is a voracious researcher and has written many articles on musicology, Indian culture, Spirituality and Folk art forms etc. and her articles have been published on several prestigious magazines. Due to the depth of knowledge in her articles, her publications are widely appreciated, admired and referenced. In May 2023, her book called "Arohini" - a compilation of some her work, was published and was sold in India as well as overseas.

Rohini Subbarathnam has conceptualised and directed several unique music, music drama projects.   She is also highly respected for her listless services towards the cause of social well fare. She has been the live-wire and mentor for administration and rejuvenation activities of Hindu temples and Bhoota Sthaanas in Bajathur and surrounding villages.

Early Life

Rohini Subbarathnam was born as first daughter to the all-time great musicologist and danceologist Mahamahopadhyaya Dr. R. Sathyanarayana. Her younger brother vidwan R S Nanda Kumar is an eminent Carnatic classical vocalist and Guru. After the demise of her mother at the age of 2, Rohini Subbarathnam shadowed her father’s ways and became an voracious reader. Her inherited methodical thinking and habitual readings brought her vast knowledge in musicology. She initiated herself into learning practical music by listening and self-learning. Her marriage to the violin maestro Kanchana V Subbarathnam marked the onset of an incredible era for music enthusiasts in Dakshina Kannada. After marriage, Rohini Subbarathnam adopted the Kanchana Baani of traditional music and began to teach music in Gurukula system like her father-in-law, the legendary vocalist Sangeetha Rathna Kanchana Venkatasubrahmaniam. Later with her husband, she opened a high school in the name of Venkata Subrahmaniam to facilitate general education in her village. The couple trained hundreds of pupils and organized innumerable music concerts for the propagation and promotion of Carnatic classical music.

Life as a Musician and Guru

Rohini Subbarathnam’s melody, brilliance of notations, beauty of presentation and expert teaching have made her a distinguished Guru and Vocalist. Her flair of notating music to kritis is exceptional and alluring. She is well appreciated by famous poets and art connoisseurs for her apt and appealing music notations. Aside from notating, she has also created lyrics for her husband’s many compositions in Kannada and Telugu. She has designed and organized several constructive unique music projects touching various aspects of human life and values. Her speeches, lectures and demonstrations are illustrious.

            As a Guru, Rohini Subbarathnam has taught music for well over 30 years and throughout her carrier, she has trained pupils of all caste and all social statuses, without any discrimination. She has been teaching music to her pupils with the same dedication as she has, in teaching her own children and with the same sole determination of spreading music and enriching knowledge among her followers.



Current Activities

  • Rohini Subbarathnam is the secretary of Kanchana Shree Lakshminarayana Music Academy Trust® and is mentoring music students in theory and practicals.

  • Rohini Subbarathnam is also devotedly involved in the administration of Hindu temples which were under the administration of Kanchana V Subbarathnam. She has donated lands to educational and religious institutes.

  • She is an ardent pursuer of musicology and has collected and published many valuable musicology documentations on social medias, magazines and news papers.

  • Rohini Subbarathnam, also has superior knowledge of homeopathy medicines and has helped her family members and many poor people in her village with her knowledge of medicine.

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