Veteran music director, composer, singer Azad Rahaman passed away at Bangladesh Specialized Hospital in the capital’s Shyamoli on Saturday afternoon at about 4:30pm. He was 76.
Bangladesh Film Directors’ Association president Mushfiqur Rahman Gulzar confirmed it to New Age.
He was suffering from heart disease. He is survived by his wife Selina Azad and three daughters - Rumana Azad, Rozana Azad and Nafisa Azad.
‘He was admitted to the hospital on Friday as he was suffering from heart disease along with aging-associated diseases. He died after suffering a heart attack and doctors saw no symptoms of COVID-19,’ Mushfiqur Rahman Gulzar told New Age.
Azad Rahaman lived in Green Road where his namaz-e-janaza was held after Isha prayers and he was buried at Azimpur Graveyard on Saturday night.
‘His namaz-e-janaza was held after Isha prayers. Later, he was buried at capital’s Azimpur Graveyard,’ music director Farid Ahmed, a long time colleague of Azad Rahaman, told New Age.
Creator of many popular songs like Janma Amar Dhanya Holo, Azad Rahaman was born to Khalilur Rahman and Ashrafa Khatun in Bardhaman, India on January 1, 1944. He was the eldest among eight children of the couple.
His other siblings are Hanufa Khatun, Feroza Khatun, Jahanara Khatun, Ramisa Hayat, Sayma Ahmed, Sazzad Rahman and Amzad Rahman.
Azad Rahaman obtained his Honours degree in khayal from the Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata.
He migrated to Dhaka during the Pakistan period and started working for Radio Pakistan and simultaneously began composing and directing playbacks for the local film industry.
Besides classical music, he received training in folk songs, kirtan, dhrupad, toppa, thumri, Tagore songs as well as songs of Atul Prasad, DL Rai and Rajani Kanta.
Azad Rahaman started his career as a music director jointly with Subir Sen in the early 1960s in Calcutta, now Kolkata. He worked in the movie Miss Priyonboda. Renowned singers Manabendra Mukhopadhyay, Arati Mukherjee and Pratima Bandopadhyay rendered the songs composed by him.
After the independence of Bangladesh, songs composed by Rahaman such as Bhalobashar Mulya Koto, Monero Ronge Rangabo, Dora Kata Daag Dekhe Bagh Chena Jay for different films made him a household name.
He also composed a few ragas and released an LP record of Bangla Kheyal.
Bangladesh film industry’s first film based on sex education titled ‘Gopon Katha’ was directed by Azad Rahaman. Sohel Rana and Kabori Sarwar played lead in the film.
He also worked in various educational institutions as faculty member including Government Music College, Stamford University and others.
He served as the director general of the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy for two terms. Azad Rahaman is the founder chairman of Sangskriti Kendra — Centre for Education, Creative and Performing Arts — established in 1990 in Dhaka. He retired from his career in 2000.
He received the National Film Award in 1993 and 1997. He has also received several other awards, including Best Composer and Conductor of Orchestra Award, Radio Bangladesh Staff Artist Award 1982, Zahir Raihan Film Award, Desh Film Award, Chitrali Film Award, Nawab Salimullah Memorial Award, Bangladesh Film Producer Association Award and Agrani Bank Award and few others. He received a gold medal in 2011 from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata.
Education minister Dipu Moni and state minister for cultural affairs KM Khalid extended their condolences at the death of the music maestro.
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