Today is the 94th birth anniversary of late legendary Nazrul Sangeet singer Feroza Begum, who made immense contribution in popularising Nazrul Sangeet during her music career spanning over seven decades.
Every year Dhaka University celebrates the occasion by honouring a nationally recognised music artiste with Feroza Begum Memorial Gold Medal. However, the awards programme has been delayed this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The honour will be conferred in September.
‘The programme has been delayed due to the sudden COVID-19 outbreak. The name of the award recipient has not been finalised yet. We will soon hold a meeting and look forward to confer the honour in September,’ Tumpa Samadder, chairperson of music department of Dhaka University, told New Age.
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 had an Islamic song recorded for HMV in 1942 under the supervision of Chitta Roy, an assistant to 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.
Though Feroza Begum could sing diverse 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 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 in both Bangladesh and India for her contribution in popularising Nazrul Sangeet.
She received numerous awards including Independence 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