SRI LANKA MUSIC LEGEND PREMASIRI KEMADASA DIES
By Walter Jayawardhana
Dr. Premasiri Khemadasa, one of Sri Lanka's most renown musicians who composed for hundreds of films, songs and operas and entertained the Sri Lankan nation almost for more than four decades died at a private hospitals in Colombo, October 24, his family announced.
Unlike his contemporaries who were more lenient on Hindustani music Khemadasa boldly mixed the traditions of Sinhala folk music , Western classical music and traditional Indian raga-thala music in his life long quest to create the identity of Sri Lanka's own national music.
The maestro who was 71 years old at the time of his death was the founder of kemadasa Foundation dedicated for research and music education.
At a time when music directors of the fledging Sinhala Cinema industry were copying music from Hindi and Tamil films Khemadasa goes into history for introducing his own music creations to entertain the Sinhala cinema goers. For his great service to the national music scene the Ruhunu University conferred an honorary Doctorate on him. Sri Lanka's greatest living music legend Pandith Dr. Amaradeva has been associated with Khemadasa from the very beginning.
Agnidahaya (2002),Lokuduwa (1994), Meeharaka (1993), Maldeniye Simion
(1987), Yagunthaya (1983), Kaliyugaya (1982), Nidhanaya (1972)
Unafraid of breaking accepted music traditions Khemadasa introduced Western music styles through his operas and cantatas. Agni (fire) was his last opera searching for the beginning of the civilization.
Like many other musicians of modern times Kemadasa was born on the Western sea border of the island and was educated at Sri Sumangala College and St. John's College, Panadura. Funeral arrangements will be announced later .
The following are some of the more famous songs he created among hundreds
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