Bhubaneswar: Eminent Indian classical singer Sunanda Patnaik passes away at the age of 85 at a private hospital in Kolkata . She is the daughter of legendary Odia poet Baikunthanath Patnaik.
She started singing at All India Radio in Cuttack in 1948 at the age of 14. The then Odisha Governor Asaf Ali once heard her on Radio and was very impressed with her singing and she became a regular fixture at the Raj Bhavan whenever the Governor had guests. Once, President Rajendra Prasad heard her at Puri. He was very impressed with her singing and arranged her training under Pandit Vinayak Rao Pattavardhan at Pune with a scholarship. She was awarded with the degree of Masters in Music by Pune School in 1956. She performed at All India Sadrang Sageet Sammelan in Calcutta in September 1957 where she received 13 gold coins. Since then she has done many concerts in India and is known internationally. She is best known for her tarana that she sings at a high pace and is considered one of the best contemporary interpreters of Odissi music. She has been staying at Kolkata since 1983.
She received Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1970 and 1971. She received Indian lifetime achievement award in 2009 and lifetime achievement award from The Orissa society of the Americas (OSA) in 2012. She is the recipient of sangeet natak academy award (Tagore Akadami Puraskar) for the year 2012. The degree of doctor of literature was conferred to her by the Utkal University in 1999 and the degree of doctor of music was conferred by the Akhil Bharatiya Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal in 1975.