BHUBANESWAR: Eminent Indian classical singer and daughter of noted Odia poet Baikunthanath Patnaik, Sunanda Patnaik passed away in Kolkata on Sunday. She was 85 and had been hospitalised for age related complications.
Singer of Gwalior gharana of classical music, Sunanda was referred to as ‘Guruma’ in the classical music circle. Her popular devotional Odia song ‘Jeevana Patra Mo Bhariccha Kete Mote’ that was penned by her father, still holds a special place in the hearts of Odias. She has several ‘bhajans’ both in Odia and Hindi to her credit apart from several classical songs that she usually rendered in a high pitch.
Born in Cuttack, Sunanda started singing in All India Radio at the age of 14. She received her initial training in music from Kundala Adi Narayana, and later honed her art under Vinayak Rao Patwardhan of the Gwalior gharana. As a student, she was privileged to receive a scholarship in music from the first President of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad. She was awarded with the degree of Masters in Music by Pune School in 1956.
For her contribution to Hindustani classical music, Sunanda was honoured with the Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1970 and 1971 and the Central Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for the year 2012.
She shifted to Kolkata in the 80s and to disseminate her learning in music among a new generation of practitioners, Sunanda established the Vishnu Vinayak Sangeet Ashram. There she trained a number of promising Hindustani musicians over the years.
Members of Odissi music fraternity have condoled her death. Her mortal remains will be consigned to flames in Kolkata.
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