Ramhari Das



Born in 1953 in Balasore, Orissa, Shri Ramhari Das was trained in music initially by his uncle Radhakrushna Das. Later, as a student at Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya, Bhubaneswar, he had the benefit of training under leading dance musicians of Orissa including Markandaya Mohapatra, Balakrushna Dash, Gopal Chandra Panda, and Bhikari Charan Bal. He was eventually to teach at the Mahavidyalaya himself, working first as a Lecturer in Odissi vocal music and later as Head of the department of Odissi music.
Shri Ramhari Das is acknowledged today as a leading singer and composer of Odissi music. Besides lending vocal support to eminent Odissi dancers, he has won acclaim for composing a large number of songs for Odissi dance and dance- drama. He has presented papers on Odissi dance music at seminars and conferences, and authored several books on Odissi music. These include Alankar Ratnabali, Sangeeta Sangya, Odissi Sangetara Parampara, and Kala Sikhya — published by the Board of Secondary Education, Orissa. He has also published a number of research papers as well as general articles in the press. Outside of the dance arena, he has sung for Oriya films and television serials. Shri Das has been connected in various capacities with cultural institutions in Orissa, including the Orissa Sangeet Natak Akademi, the Utkal University of Culture, and the Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra Odissi Research Centre at Bhubaneswar, where he was the chief executive.
He has been honoured for his work by the Orissa Dance Academy in Bhubaneswar and the Utkal Sahitya Kala Parishad in Cuttack among other institutions. Shri Ramhari Das receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Odissi dance music.