Veteran musician Amber Gurung passed away at the age of 78

Amber Gurung passed away, 78 year old Gurung Gurung was undergoing treatment at the Grande International Hospital.

Amber Gurung | Image Source: The Himalayan Times

Amber Gurung, who was admitted to Hospital a week ago, passed away on Tuesday early, the hospital confirmed in a statement. He had problems in his food pipe, respiratory issues, diabetes and high blood pressure.  78 year old Gurung Gurung was undergoing treatment at the Grande International Hospital.

After undergoing a treatment at the Medanta Hospital in New Delhi, Gurung had returned to Nepal on March 30 this year, before being admitted to the Grande Hospital on May 30.

Gurung’s body will be kept at Academy Hall in Kamaladi before being taken to Pashupati Aryaghat for cremation.

Amber Gurung was born on February 26, 1938 in Darjeeling of India. Though the Gurung family was originally from Gorkha, he had spent most of his childhood in Darjeeling and later moved to Kathmandu in 1969. He was married to Bina Gurung. Gurung is survived by three sons (Kishor, Raju and Sharad) and one daughter (Alka).

He was a self-taught musician who learned both western and eastern classical music entirely on his own. In the 1950s, Gurung established a music institute – The Art Academy of Music – in Darjeeling, where famous musicians and singers like Aruna Lama, Sharan Pradhan, Gopal Yonzon and Ranjit Gajmer among others learned under his guidance.

Some of the popular songs by Gurung are Ukali chadda, Jungi Nishan Hamro, Phoolai Sodhein, Jindagi ko ke kura and Sabai Yaad Aye. His first recorded song was ‘Nau Lakha Tara’ written by Agam Singh Giri in 1960.

Achievements:
# Composer of Nepal’s new national anthem (2007)
# Invited by Nepal’s the then King Mahendra to return to Nepal to and chair the music department of Nepal Academy (1968)
# Renowned as the father of modern Nepali music
# Author and recording artist of more than 1000 songs (1961–2006)
# Composed/conducted the first Nepali chorales (1988, 1997)
# Composed/conducted the first Nepali operas, “Kunjini” (1963), “Muna Madan” (1979) and “Malati Mangale” (1986)
# Composed/conducted the first Nepali cantatas, “Smriti” (“Reminiscence,” 1964) and “Brave Gorkhas” (1972)
# Honoured with more than 25 life-time awards and felicitations

Awards:
# Uttam Shanti Shahitya Puraskar (2007)
# Kantipur FM Lifetime Achievement Award (2006)
# Hits FM Lifetime Achievement Award (2001)
# Madhurima Phulkumar Mahato Puraskar, Kathmandu (2000)
# Tuborg Outstanding Award (1999)
# Image award, Image TV, Kathmandu (1999)Jagadamba Shree, Kathmandu (1998)
# Bhupal Man Singh, Kathmandu (1998)
# Sha-Shanka, Jhapa (1996)
# Giri Puraskar, Darjeeling, India (1994)
# Golden Flute Award (CEDOS), Sikkim, India (1993)
# Indra Rajya Laxmi Pragya Puraskar, Kathmandu (1987)
# Chinalata Puraskar, Kathmandu (1983)
# Gorkha Dakshin Bahu, Kathmandu (1971)
# Gold Medal Radio Nepal, Kathmandu (1970)