January 27, 2012

Dr Dayaratna Ranatunga & Prof Amara Ranatunga - They Sing, Compose, Write & Lecture

By Madhushala Senaratne

(By Courtesy of sundaytimes.lk, 07th December 2007)

For over five decades, veteran musicians Dr. Dayaratna Ranatunga and Professor Amara Ranatunga have made an immense contribution towards the music industry. Their reputation as super-grade singers, music directors, composers, research scholars, lecturers and authors has spread far beyond the shores of Sri Lanka.

A felicitation ceremony, ‘Maha Re Yame’ – Dayaratna – Amara Abhinandana, to pay tribute to them will be held at the BMICH on December 6, at 6.30 p.m.“Dr. Dayaratna and Profssor Amara Ranatunga have been involved in the music industry for nearly 53 years and their songs are still popular among Sri Lankans,” Dr. Andra Dhanapala, chairperson of the ceremony organizing committee said.

Dr. Dayaratna Ranatunga was the first Director of Music and Research of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corperation. He holds a PhD in Music Therapy and has served as a music scholar and lecturer at several foreign universities in Manila and Los Angeles.

In 1990 he represented Sri Lanka at the BBC in London and presented a programme titled ‘Sandesaya’. He is currently the Vice Chairman of the Sri Lanka Performing Rights Society and an external examiner and visiting lecturer at the University of Visual Arts and Performing Arts.

Professor Amara Ranatunga began her career as a schoolteacher. Later she served as a senior lecturer and Dean at the Faculty of Music of the Institute of Aesthetics at the Kelaniya University. Currently she lectures at the University of Visual Arts and Performing Arts and is Director of the Sri Lanka Performing Rights Society. She holds a PhD in Vocal Music.

The duo also conducts lectures and demonstrations at other educational and cultural institutions across the country and has represented Sri Lanka at many overseas conferences. They have produced cassettes, CDs, directed music in films and plays and composed music for school songs. Some of their famous songs and albums include ‘Maha Re Yame’, ‘Kiri Kawadi’, ‘Upulee’ and ‘Udumbara’. In recognition of their service, the couple has been bestowed with many prestigious awards including the President’s Award and the Bharatha Mitra Award from India. They have published a range of books such as ‘Music Mind Therapy’, ‘Sangeetha Vimarshana’ and ‘Saundrya Avabodha’.

“What we aim to do through our work is to share our experiences and knowledge with others, especially the younger generation and help them excel in the field of music,” Dr. Dayaratna Ranatunga said. Through performances, publications and lectures, the duo continues to work towards this aim.

The felicitation ceremony will also feature performances by the couple and a dance item by Channa Wijewardhana Three books, ‘Sambhawya Geetha Rachana’ by Amara Ranatunga, ‘Jeewana Anubhoothiya’ by Dayaratna Ranatunga and ‘Translation of Music History’ will be launched at the event.

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"Maha Rae Yame" By Dr Dayaratna Ranatunga and Prof Amara Ranatunga

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