Renowned Sri Lankan musician Premasiri Khemadasa dead

October 25th, 2008 - 11:59 am ICT by IANS  

Colombo, Oct 25 (IANS) Award winning Sri Lankan musician Premasiri Khemadasa is dead, leaving an irreplaceable vacuum in the country’s cinema industry. He was 71.Popularly known as ‘Khemadasa Master’, he died at a private hospital here Friday.

Khemadasa has composed music for many Sinhala language films, including “Nidhanaya”, “Agnidahaya” and “Ammavarune” and is widely considered “a pioneer of indigenous music” at a time when Hindi and Tamil copies flooded the airwaves.

He has held several shows in many world capitals, enriched local theatre, ballet, symphony and the Sinhala film and television industry with his vast repertoire.

“He shot to fame with the ‘Manasawila’ opera. This was followed with several other productions such as ‘Dora Mandalawa’ and ‘Sonduru Warnadasa’. His symphonies ‘Muhuda’ and ‘Mage Kale Mavni’ also left indelible memories among his fans,” a media report said.

While some of his compositions were influenced by Western composers of opera, Khemadasa was influential in introducing a unique music style to Sri Lankan cinema and also pioneered the opera format in Sri Lankan music and performing arts.

“A self taught brilliant musician, Dr. Khemadasa explored various styles of music around the world and he combined Sinhala folk tunes, Hindustani music, Western music and many other streams of music in his compositions while adapting them to fit contemporary music,” said a report.

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