He was a connoisseur of both Western and Carnatic (South Indian classical) music and an acknowledged
He became a Licentiate of the Guildhall School of Music, London in 1937. Honorary Fellow of Trinity College of Music, London, in 1945.
He was the first President of the Philharmonia Concert Society and Philharmonia Orchestra, London in 1948.
After becoming Maharaja, he was initiated to the Indian classical music (Carnatic music) due to the cultural vibrancy, which prevailed in the Mysore court till then. He learnt to play veena under Vidwan Venkatagiriappa and mastered the nuances of Carnatic music under the tutelage of veteran composer and Asthan Vidwan Sri.Vasudevacharya. He was also initiated into the secrets of Shri Vidya as an upasaka (under assumed name Chitprabhananda) by his guru Shilpi Siddalingaswamy. This inspired him to compose as many as 94 Carnatic music krutis under the assumed name of Shri. Vidya. All the compositions are in different ragas and some of them for the first time ever.
He helped the Western world discover the music of a little-known Russian compose Nikolai Medtner (1880–1951), financing the recording of a large number of his compositions and founding the Medtner Society in 1949. Medtner's Third Piano Concerto is dedicated to the Maharaja of Mysore. Aspirations to become a concert pianist were cut short by the untimely death of both his father Yuvaraja Kanteerava Narasimharaja Wadiyar in March 1940 and his uncle Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV in June 1940, when he succeeded the throne of Mysore.
He was on the Board of Advisors of National Centre for the Performing Arts when it was founded in the late 60's.
On his suggestion, his sister Rani Vijaya Devi Kotda-Sangani established the International Music and Arts Society in Bangalore, in 1974.