SRI PRAFULLA KAR
For more than four decades, Prafulla Kar has regaled audiences and fans in Orissa and abroad with his distinctive singing, compositions and lyrics. His position as a performer is pre-eminent. The compelling power of his music continues to attract a large cross section of the listening public. Added to this obvious talent, his precocity as Music Director and Poet has gradually transformed him into a cultural icon of formidable standing.
Born in 1939 into a family of Musicians, Prafulla Kar showed early promise as a singer at home in Puri, the abode of Lord Jagannath. His father's elder brother Khetra Mohan Kar was a renowned Tabla Player, who exposed him to artists of national repute like Hirabai Barodekar, Pt. Omkar Nath Thakur, Panalal Bose, Prasun Banarjee, Radhika Mohan Maitra, A. Kanan, Malabika Kanan and many others as family friends at their home. This adorable child of Baidyanath Kar and Susila Kar had opportunity to listen to such veterans from his childhood and music started flowing in his blood at a tender age, but he lost his father at an early age. His career started growing under the guidance of his maternal uncles. His grand father Bhagaban Misra and grand mother Apanna Devi rightly brought him up with moral and spiritual influence.
Prafulla Kar graduated with B.A. and L.L.B. degrees from Utkal University. He subsequently received his Sangeet Visharad from Akhil Bharat Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Maharastra under the guidance of Pt. Markandeya Mohapatra, Pt. K. Adinarayana and Pt. J.V S. Rao. His professional Career in music took off in 1960 and he rapidly established himself as an acclaimed (A-Grade) Vocalist, Composer and Lyricist for All India Radio, Television and large concerts.
Achievements In Film Music
Prafulla Kar has directed music for an amazing 63 Oriya Films (Released and unreleased) as well as 4 Bangla films. For his outstanding contributions to the field of Film Music, the Govt. of Orissa honored Sri Prafulla Kar with Best Music Director Award for Oriya films on six separate Occasions, a record achievement even at the National level.
For Oriya Films:
· Mamata 1975
· Sesa Srabana 1976
· Bandhu Mohanty 1977
· Sati Anasuya 1978
· Sita Labakusa 1980
· School Master 1985
For this feat, he earned recognition as a celebrity and was honored by the Cine Musicians Union, Chennai. In 1977 the Govt. of Orissa adjudged him as the Best Play Back Singer for the Oriya Film BALIDAN; and the Critic Circle of India awarded the Best M,usic Director Award to Shri Kar in 1977 for the Oriya Film RAMAYAN. Today he "is a colossus in the world of pan Indian Music".
Under his music direction in films many playback singers of National repute like Anuradha Paudwal, Usha Mangeskar, Kavita Krishnatmurty, Suresh Wadekar, Md. Aziz, Amit Kumar (from Mumbai) - Vani Jairam, S. Janaki, R Susila, Chitra, Swarnalata, Yesu Das, S. P. Balsubramanyam, Manu (from Chennai) - Arati Mukherjee, Nirmala Misra, Sipra Bose, Ajay Chakrabarty, Haimayanti Sukla (from Kolkata) have rendered their voice for Oriya and Bangla Films.
Moreover, six eminent playback singers have been awarded the Best Playback Singer Award by the Govt. Orissa under his music direction over the years
· Pranab Patnaik, for the film SINDURA BINDU & TAPASYA
· Raghunath. Panigrahi, for the film MUKTI
· Prafulla Kar, for the film BALIDAN
· Ajay Chakrabarti, for the film SCHOOL MASTER
· Vani Jairam, for the film DEVJANI
· Gita Dash, for the film GRUHA LAXMI
Achievements In Non-Film Music
Sri Prafulla Kar has recorded hundreds of disks, cassettes and Compact Discs for different
Companies, Govt. of Orissa and Musical Institutions, Notable among them are
· Oriya Bhagabat - (Set of seven cassettes published by H.M.V)
· Oriya Chhanda - (Rare traditional songs of Orissa in set of three cassettes published by Orissi Research Centre)
· Krutanjaii - (an album sung by a team of BLIND SINGERS of Orissa, a pioneering endeavour for the handicapped in the field of music for the first time in India - by
· H. M. V.)
· Patriotic songs - (written by the then'eminent Freedom Fighters of Orissa - by Govt. of Orissa)
Prafulla Kar's association with the Odissi music has been long and fruitful. He has composed the music for numerous Odissi Dance Dramas, Ballets and Odissi Dance repertoires. Notables among these are the following
· Jangyaseni (Ballet)
· Swapna Naika
· Katha Surpanakha
· Jagannath Priya Natakam
· Devi Nrutya
· Jay Yatra
· Bhakta Dasia
· Mana Bhanjan
· Siba Tandava
· Bakula Bharan Pallavi
· Arabhi Pallabi
Awards and Titles
Many reputed Journals, Institutions and Cine Associations have honored Sri Kar on numerous occasions
AwardsØ Jayadev Award – Highest Honour by Dept. of Culture, Govt. of Odisha
Ø Odisha Sangeet Natak Academy Award, Govt. of Odisha
Ø Odisha Sahitya Academy Award, Govt. of Odisha
Ø Honorary Degree of Doctor of Literature (Honoris Causa) D. LITT- Utkal University of Culture, Govt. of Odisha.
Ø Kabi Samrat Upendra Bhanja Award-Highest Honour of Odisha Sangeet Natak Academy, Govt. of Odisha.
Ø Conferred Top Grade as a Composer, Singer-All India Radio, New Delhi.
Ø Eight times Best Music Director State Awards, Govt. of Odisha
Ø Best Play Back Singer Award – “BALIDAN”, Govt. of Odisha.
Ø Sarala Award-IMFA, Bhubaneswar
Ø Cine Musicians Union Award-Chennai.
Ø Critic Circle of India Award-New Delhi
Ø Shrutinandan Award-Kolkata
Ø Chalachitra Jagat Award – 1977.
Ø Nitai Palit Award – Chalachitra Prativa Samman
Ø Banichitra Award – 2003
Ø Fitfat Bioscope Award-2011, CuttackØ Nabaratna Samman-Scart, Govt. of Odisha
Ø Anmol Sangeet Music Director Award-Odia Geeti Kabi Samaj
Ø Driems (Lifetime Achievement Award)-Tangi, Cuttack
Ø Rotary Club of Bhubaneswar Royal Award-Bhubaneswar
Ø Neta 2011 Award-Bhubaneswar
Ø Lions Idol 2011 Award-Lions Club, Bhubaneswar
Ø P3 Katak Karnival 2011 Award-Cuttack
Ø Rajiv Gandhi Award
Ø Biju Pattanaik Jayanti Award
Ø Odissi Nrutya Dhara Award
Ø Indian Society for Cultural Cooperation & Friendship Award.
Ø Kalinga Prativa Samman (Lifetime Achievement Award)-Narmada Charitable Trust
Ø Felicitation by Income Tax Recreation Club-BBSR, Govt. of India
Ø Patitapavan Samman-Sri Patitapavan Bhajan Parishad, Cuttack
Ø Parampara Award 2012-Bhubaneswar
Ø 28th Bhubaneswar Pustak Mela Award 2012-Bhubaneswar
Ø Anuyeshita Sahitya Samman-Puri
Ø Sri Baikunthanath Janma Satabarshika Samaroha Samman-Bhubaneswar.
Ø Orissa Society of Americas (South-West Chapter) Award.
Ø OSA – Washington Chapter Award.
Ø OSA – Southern Chapter Award.
Ø OSA – Chicago Chapter Award.
Ø Kalashree Award – Citizens of Hunstville.
Ø ELPASO Community College, Texas, Award.
Ø Hartnell College, California Award.
Ø Indo-American Sevak Foundation Award.
Ø India Asia Association, San Antonio, Award.
Ø Honoured by EL PASO Council for International Visitors, Texas.
Ø Mayadhar Mansingh Centenary Award – 2006
Ø Felicitation by A.I.R., Akashvani Diamond Jubilee Year Celebration, Cuttack – 2007
Ø Rajdhani Gourav Samman – 2007 Bhubaneswar
Ø State Level Ghungroo Topmost Odissi Music Samman – 2007
Ø ETV Film Awards 2010-ETV, Odisha
Ø Sangeeta Sudhakar Balakrushna Dash Samman 2010-ETV Odisha
Ø Life Time Achievement Award – Trade Fair Committee
Ø Kalakunja Award – K.K. Academy of Art & Culture
Ø Kabichandra Award – Kabichandra Smruti Sansad
Ø Odissika Award
Ø Prananath Mahavidyalaya Music Award
Ø Lions Club Diamond Jubilee Award
Ø Juga Jyoti Sahitya Sansad Award
Ø Saradha Bali Sanskrutik Parishad Award
Ø Nikhila Utkal Sangeet Silpi Parishad Award
Ø Banga Utkal Samaj & Sanskruti Mancha Award.
Ø Sri Jagannath Mandir Prasashana Award.
Ø Jagannath Sanskruti Award.
Ø Sarba Bharatiya Adibashi Nrutya-Sangita Mahotsva Award.
Ø Bharat Sevahsram Award.
Ø Balasore Bikash Mahotsva Award.
Ø Nabard Bank Award.
Ø Taranga Samman – 2003
Ø Fakir Mohan Sahitya Parishad Award – Balasore
Ø Lifetime Achievement Award – Amit Art Production
Ø Bidaktakabi Abhimanyu Award – Abhimanyu Smruti Sansad
Ø Bhanja Cultural Trust, Rourkela Award
Ø Samaj ‘O’ Sanskruti Award
Ø Makhanlal Haldar Smruti Samman – 2006
Ø Rajya Prananath Samman – 2006
Ø Utkal Pathak Sansad Samman – 2007
Ø Koustuv Samman – 2007
Ø O.M.C. Cultural Association Award – 2007
Ø Utkal Surya Samman, Arupa Mission Research Foundation.
Ø Jagatsinghpur Mahotsav Award, Jagatsinghpur Cultural Parishad.
Ø Sangeeta Saraswati Sri Narayan Behera Smruti Samman – 2007 Berhampur.
Ø Geet Tarang Award – 2008
Ø Bharat Prativa Samman – 2008, Bharat Masala, Cuttack
Ø Sangeet Samman – 2008
Ø Umpa Cine TV Award – 2008 – Life Time Achievement Award
Ø Sri Ganesh Samman – 2008
Ø Pandit Godabarish Samman – 2009
Ø Pandit Godabarish Sahitya Sansad
Ø Ruchi Kala Prativa Samman – 2009
Ø Swarabitan Samman – 2009
Ø Dr. Mahatab Samman – 2009
Ø Bauribandhu Smruti Samman – 2009 ASHRAYA, Bhubaneswar
Ø Orissa Sahitya and Sanskruti Parishad Award – 2009 Puri
Ø 64th Yogini Mahotsav Award – 2009 Hirapur
Ø Sambhabana Award – 2010 Daimond Jubilee Celebration of Oriya Films
Ø Malhaar Samman – 2010
Ø Moorchana Sangeet Award – 2010
Ø Suryakheetra Samman –2010
Ø Guru Pranam Utsav Award – 2010
Ø Sandhyatara Sahitya Sansad Award – 39th Year Celebration
Ø Sri Balpeujew Sangeeta Samman 2010 – SAMAJ Sanskruti
Ø Sibabrata Das Smruti Samman – 2010
Ø Sahid Laxman Nayak Smruti Award – 2010 Berhampur
Ø Gajalaxmi Puja Committee Award – 2010 Jajpur
Apart from his extensive tours in India, Prafulla Kar has also represented India and performed abroad many times to promote Indian, especially Odissi music.
· USSR 1972
· Australia 1977
· Fiji Island 1977
· U. K. 1997
· Brazil 2007
· U. S. A. 1986, 1988, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2008
· Dubai 2008
· Singapore 2003
Hobbies and Other Interests
Shri Kar is currently engaged in research on Odissi music in an attempt to establish it as a recognized classical music form.
Recent publication of his selected devotional lyrics, "Aangya Mala", is a humble dedication to Oriya Literature. His weekly short story column “Saunta Kahani” in the Oriya daily Dharitri is widely read and acclaimed.. These short stories have been compiled into two popular books.
His other interests include painting, creative writing, gourmet and traditional Oriya Cooking.