Demise Of Veteran Nepali Music Composer Amber Gurung : May A Precious Soul Rest In Peace

2016-06-07-1465322537-5446790-AmberGurung.jpg Photo: The Himalayan

The legendary Nepali musician and composer of the country's national anthem died at age 78 after a long battle with high blood pressure, diabetes and Parkinson's disease.

After the death of the former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali, the death of the father of modern Nepali music triggered the nationwide outpouring of affection and admiration in Nepal. Amber Gurung, the veteran Nepali singer and music composer, passed away on Tuesday. The legendary Nepali musician and composer of the country's national anthem died at age 78 after a long battle with high blood pressure, diabetes and Parkinson's disease.

Gurung composed more than a 1,000 songs including many era-defining numbers. He was also a recognized literary figure who had published three books and music related articles in national publications besides being a musician and lyricist. Born in Darjeeling of India, Gurung was invited to Nepal by the then King Mahendra Shah in 1969 to lead the music department at the Nepal Academy of Arts and Literature. The Nepal government provided state honors at the funeral.

According to Bossnepal, his passion for music since his childhood days was what led him to become one of the most accomplished musicians in the Nepali music industry. Although his father never approved of his interest in music, his mother always encouraged him. During his school days, he had started composing and singing which had won him recognition and many awards as well. A self-taught musician who learned both western and eastern classical music entirely on his own, Amber Gurung taught himself to play violin, piano, guitar, mandolin, table and several other instruments.

He started a music institute, The Art Academy of Music in Darjeeling in the 1950s where famous singers and musicians learned music under his guidance. 'Nau Lakh Tara', his first song to be recorded that expressed the suffering of the Nepali diaspora, was considered as a masterpiece of lyrics and musical composition and gained much popularity in the Nepali world, both in Nepal and India. In the years that followed, he recorded many other songs, which helped to make him one of the main architects of modern Nepali music

He joined the Folk Entertainment Unit, Government of West Bengal, Darjeeling as Music Chief where he served from 1962 - 1965 after which he became disappointed with the bureaucracy and resigned from the post, however, he continued to write music and do stage shows both in Nepal and India. He joined Graham Homes School as a music teacher in 1967 and in 1968, he was invited by the then King Mahendra of Nepal to return permanently to Nepal and establish and chair the music department of the newly founded Nepal Academy of Arts. He served there as the Music Director for nearly thirty years.

He had recorded many albums and songs and had also composed the music for many musicals and documentary and feature films. He had also written and performed cantatas and choirs. He was invited by the Government of Nepal to compose the music for Nepal's new national anthem in 2007. For his contributions to the music industry in Nepal, he is also known as the father of modern Nepali music.

His earthly body is no more but he will be remembered as the star of Nepalese music industry with so many immortal songs. May a precious soul rest in peace.