Bhubaneswar: Eminent Hindustani classical singer of Odisha and daughter of legendary Odia poet Baikunthanath Patnaik, Sunanda Patnaik, passed away at a private hospital in Kolkata at 4.30 am on Sunday after a prolonged illness. She was 85.
Born on November 7, 1934, Sunanda, popularly known as “Guruma”, had started her career in singing at All India Radio in Cuttack in 1948 at the age of 14.
Impressed by her singing, former Odisha Governor Asaf Ali had arranged her training under Pandit Vinayak Rao Pattavardhan at Pune with a scholarship. She was awarded the degree of Masters in Music by Pune School in 1956.
Sunanda was awarded the degree of Masters in Music by the Pune School in 1956. She had also performed at All India Sadrang Sangeet Sammelan in Calcutta in September 1957.
She was also honoured with the Odisha Sangeet Natak Academy awards twice in 1970 and 1971 and Indian lifetime achievement award in 2009 by the Odisha Society of the Americas (OSA) in 2012. Besides, she was the recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi award (Tagore Akademi Puraskar) for the year 2012. The Utkal University had conferred the degree of doctor of literature on her in 1999 while Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal had conferred her the degree of doctor of music in 1975.
A documentary film ‘Nilamadhaba’ based on the biography of Sunanda had won the national award.
Known for her Tarana which she used to sing at a high pace, Sunanda was one of the best contemporary interpreters of Odissi music.
Her famous Odia song ‘jibana patra mo bharichha kete’ still occupies a special place in the hearts of the people in Odisha.
The mortal remains of Sunanda will be brought to her residence at Salt Lake area from where will be taken for cremation, family sources said.