Legendary music director Shantanu Mohapatra passes away

Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s legendary music director Shantanu Mohapatra passed away at a private hospital here, last night. He was 84.

Mohapatra was suffering from acute pneumonia and kidney-related ailments, and admitted to the hospital for treatment.

He was associated with Odia music industry for almost 60 years. He composed first modern Odia ballad “Konark Gatha” with lyrics by lyricist Gurukrushna Goswami and sung by Akshay Mohanty. He also wrote ‘Kalijae’ which was sung by Sikandar Alam.

Mohapatra has many firsts to his credits in the field of Odia music as a music composer like the first modern lullaby in AIR (‘Soi pada re dhana’ sung by Santilata Rout), first qawali (ae ranga rahiba nahi from Surjyamukhi), first bhangra tune, and first fusion and jumping note (Ago Chandrika by Raghunath Panigrahi).

He is the first from Odisha to work with Hindi film greats like Lata Mangeshkar (Surjyamukhi), Mohd Rafi (Arundhati), Manna Dey (Surjyamukhi), Usha Mangeskar (Arundhati) and experimented with other artists like Suresh Wadekar, Anuradha Paudwal, Usha Uthup, Kavita Krishnamurthy and others with his Mumbai style orchestra music and choral songs.

Mohapatra was born in November, 1936 in Baripada of Mayurbhanj district. By profession, Mohapatra was a geophysicist (an IIT-Kharagpur pass-out) and had worked with Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC).

He has around 1,900 plus compositions, including 53 films (feature and tele),10 Jatras and 60 dramas by AIR (Cuttack) and 10 dance dramas to his credit . He has also won the highest number of awards and accolades as a music director in Odisha, totalling over 80.

Mohapatra’s composed Odia movie songs includes Sei chuna chuna (surjyamukhi), Mayuri go (Arundhati),Jaa jare bhasi ja (Chilika teeray), Mun khoji bule (Agni Parikhya), Sei jhilmil (Megha Mukti), Mun ta thili ekutia (Dora), Subhadra kande na (Jaga Balia), Mun jibi (Golamgiri), Kete je sukha (Mukti Tirtha) and others.

Similarly his popular Odia adhunik songs includes Duniya re sabudine/Aei jibana ta eka nataka/Rati re ..ama ghara (Pranab patnaik),Ago Chandrika/Nupura bajaye kie/Nali nali ae (Raghunath Panigrahi), Je nayana ranga bhara (Sikandar Alam) etc.

Recognizing his lifetime contribution to Odia culture, the Utkal University of Culture had conferred honorary D.Litt. on him in 2011.

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