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Noted Odia Classical Singer Sunanda Patnaik No More, CM Naveen Expresses Condolences

19 January 2020


Bhubaneswar: Sunanda Patnaik, one of the most eminent singers of Odia classical music, passed away today at a private hospital in Kolkata after a prolonged illness. She was 85.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik expressed heartfelt condolences to the family at the sad demise of Patnaik. Taking to Twitter in Odia, he said that she will always hold an elevated position in the world of Hindustani classical music.

Born on November 7, 1934, into Gwalior Gharana from Odisha was the daughter of legendary Oriya poet Baikunthanath Patnaik. Popularly known as ‘Guruma’, she one of the noteworthy names of the Indian classical music.

She started singing for all India Radio at a young age of just 14 years. Then Odisha Governor Asaf Ali once heard her on Radio and was so impressed with her singing that she became a regular fixture at the Raj Bhavan whenever the Governor had guests. Once, President Rajendra Prasad heard her at Puri. He was also very impressed with her singing and arranged her training under Pandit Vinayak Rao Pattavardhan at Pune with a scholarship.

Patnaik was honoured with Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1970 and 1971. She also received Indian lifetime achievement award in 2009 and lifetime achievement award from The Orissa Society of the Americas (OSA) in 2012. She is the recipient of Sangeet Natak Academy Award (Tagore Akademi Puraskar) for the year 2012. The degree of doctor of literature was conferred to her by the Utkal University in 1999 and the degree of doctor of music was conferred by the Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal in 1975.

Her death has left a void in the Hindustani classical music industry.