Eminent percussionist Guru Banamali Maharana passed away here Saturday following age related ailments, family sources said. He was 77.
Maharana was undergoing treatment at a private hospital where he breathed his last.
Known for his endeavours for giving recognition to the mardala as a classical musical instrument, the maestro was an accompanying artiste to renowned Odissi guru late Kelucharan Mahapatra.
A host of distinguished persons including Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik condoled his demise.
"Saddened to learn about the passing away of Mardala maestro Guru Banamali Maharana. The eminent percussionists invaluable contribution to Odissi tradition will always be remembered. My thoughts and prayers are with bereaved family members. May his soul rest in peace," the chief minister said in a twitter post.
Having started his career as a teacher at Kala Vikash Kendra in Cuttack, the maestro later joined the Odisha Sangeet Mahavidyalaya as a lecturer. He played a significant role in setting up of mardala department in Odisha Sangeet Mahavidyalaya.
Recipient of many awards, Maharana was honoured with the prestigious Orissa Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1994, Kendriya Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2004 and the Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja Sanman in 2016.
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