Noted Classical Vocalist Ila Majumdar No More

Noted Classical Vocalist Ila Majumdar No More

Ila Majumdar, classical singer, writer and teacher of logic, philosophy and music, died yesterday (at around 2am) at her residence in Maghbazar.

She was the mother of popular contemporary singer Bappa Majumdar and wife of the late classical music guru Barin Majumdar.

She died of stroke.

Born to a culturally oriented family in Pabna, Ila met the charismatic Pandit Barin Majumdar and started training under him in 1954. After getting married to Barin Majumdar in 1960, Ila did an MA in Philosophy in 1961 and taught the subject for many years. She excelled in teaching classical music and kept on grooming young, aspiring singers for many years after her formal retirement.

With Ila by his side, Barin Majumdar realised his dream of setting up a music college in the country in 1963. Monihar Sangeet Academy was the first of its kind in the country. Reminiscing that period, she once said to The Daily Star, “At the time, everyone thought combining music with education was madness. However, Barin was determined to make it happen and went from door to door to gain support for his idea.” And in those difficult times, Ila was the major source of encouragement for Barin.

In her memoir, titled “Dinguli Mor”, in stead of talking about herself, Ila told the stories of her family, relatives, neighbours, and the people she came across.

“The classical music scene in Bangladesh is still far from ideal and this couple (Pandit Barin Majumder and Ila Majumder) had dared to dream of a national culture that appreciates and understands classical music. They took major initiatives in this regard. The music college (founded by Barin) is now well recognised in the country. This couple’s contribution to our music and sacrifices for setting up that college have been outstanding. With her (Ila’s) demise, an irreparable void has been created in our music scenario,” said noted journalist and cultural personality Kamal Lohani.

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