Legendary Nazrul Sangeet singer Feroza Begum’s 92nd birth anniversary will be celebrated today.
To mark the occasion, Dhaka University will honour renowned singer Runa Laila with Feroza Begum Memorial Gold Medal at an awards programme held at Nawab Ali Chowdhury Senate Bhaban of the university on July 30.
In addition, a student of BA (honours) from music department of University of Dhaka with highest CGPA will also receive Feroza Begum Memorial Gold Medal at the university’s convocation ceremony.
Feroza Begum was born into an aristocratic Muslim family in Faridpur in 1926.
Though pursuing a career in music was not an easy option for her, she stepped into the world of music at an early age. She was perhaps the youngest singer to sing for a HMV record. Feroza Begum was just 12 when she had an Islamic song recorded for HMV in 1942 under the supervision of Chitta Roy, an assistant of national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam.
She also got the rare opportunity to learn music directly from Kazi Nazrul Islam and legendary composer Komal Dasgupta, whom she later married in 1956 amid reservations of her family.
Firoza Begum had to face many challenges during her music career spanning over 70 years. Though she could sing deserve genre songs, she decided to pursue Nazrul Sangeet, which was not even considered a separate genre back then.
With lot of dedication and hard work Feroza Begum managed to establish Kazi Nazrul Islam's songs under the title of ‘Nazrul Sangeet’. She was given the name nightingale of Nazrul Sangeet for her contribution to Nazrul songs.
She released 12 LP records, 4 EPs, 6 CDs and more than 20 audio cassette albums.
Her sons Shafin Ahmed and Hamin Ahmed are considered leading band musicians of the country.
She received state honours from both Bangladesh and India for her contributions in popularising Nazrul Sangeet.
She received numerous awards including Independence Day Award, Ekushey Padak, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Award, Nasiruddin Gold Award, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy Gold Award and D. Litt from Burdwan University.
She also received a Gold Disk from the renowned Japanese audio production company CBS.
She was honoured by the West Bengal government in India with Nazrul Sammanana Award 2012. In May 2015, she was posthumously awarded West Bengal’s highest cultural award –Banga Bibhushan Samman.
Feroza Begum passed away on September 9, 2014.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Music