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W. D. Amaradeva

Wannakuwatta MitiWaduge Don Albert Perera (born December 5, 1927 in Moratuwa, Sri Lanka), better known by his adopted name Amaradeva, is a Sri Lankan vocalist and musical composer. Primarily using traditional instruments like sitars, tablas and harmoniums, Amaradeva incorporates Sinhala folk music with Indian ragas in his work.

In the mid-1950s, Amaradeva in his Janagayana project consulted experts of the Kandyan dance tradition like Pani Bharata, Kiriganita, Gunamala, Ukkuva and Suramba in his path to understand what constituted Sinhala folk music. Noting that it mostly revolved around a single melody, he decided to add verses that would lead up to the central melody which would now be a chorus thus forming two parts (unseen earlier in traditional Sri Lankan music) removing restrictions that had existed earlier. In doing so, Amaradeva created a uniquely Sinhalese music style that stayed true to folk tradition while incorporating outside influences. His work was vital in the creation of the sarala gee genre practiced subsequently by artists like Victor Ratnayake, Sunil Edirisinghe and Sanath Nandasiri.

Pandit Amaradeva has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Philippine Ramon Magsaysay Award (2001), Indian Padma Sri Award and Sri Lankan “President’s Award of Kala Keerthi” (1986) and Deshamanya Award (1998). He has also represented Sri Lanka in many forums including the UNESCO 1967 Manila Symposium, and composed the melody for the Maldives national anthem, Gaumii salaam, at the request of British Queen Elizabeth II in 1972.

Early life and education

Amaradeva was born the youngest of seven children to carpenter Wannakuwatta Waduge Don Ginoris Perera and Balapuwaduge Maggie Weslina Mendis at Janapriya Mawatha in Koralawella, Moratuwa. Perera was a Buddhist while Mendis was a Methodist bringing both Christian and Buddhist values to the family.

Amardeva was introduced to music at a young age by his father who crafted and repaired violins at moratumulla wadu kaarmika vidyalaya. Amaradeva would often strum the violin while his mother sang hymns. Another family influence was Amaradeva’s elder brother who taught Indian classical music to him. Amaradeva was presented with his own instrument on his seventh birthday which was a Japanese made tin violin by his father.

He obtained his early education under Ven. Malalankara Nayaka of the Koralawella temple. With the development of his musical talent, Amaradeva was asked to recite poems and prayers at the temple; he was subsequently picked to lead the village choir.

Amaradeva continued his studies at Sri Saddharmodaya Buddhist Mixed School. While attending the school, he won a poetry contest held at the Moratuwa Vidyalaya; Amaradeva also led the school choir to a triumpant showing at a contest held by the Colombo Arts Society. His poetry win prompted school teachers to get him a showcase to recite poetry on Radio Ceylon. In 1945 Amaradeva won a gold medal at a music and violin contest held by Jana Kala Mandalaya.

Amaradeva entered Sri Sumangala College, Panadura after completing his primary education with a scholarship for English. At the school, he formed a friendship with the Principal Danister Thomas Fernando (D. T. Fernando). D. T. Fernando helped Amaradeva get into Kalutara Vidyalaya and subsequently Siddharta Vidyalaya Balapitiya.

By chance filming of the film Ashokamala commenced nearby. Gerard J. Pieris of Moratuwa introduced Amaradeva to Mohamed Ghouse Master who was handling the music for the film and Ghouse recognizing Amaradeva’s skill enlisted him as the top violinist in his orchestra.

But D. T. Fernando says that his brother who W.J Fernando was a music teacher and working in Koralawella school noticed Amaradewa‘s talented . W.J noticed Amaradeva touching violin very well at the school. Later Amaradewa’s Father was made a Violin and he was learned under him. after Amaradewa went to Kaluthara for his studies under D.T’s support and few years back he Was introduced to Asokamala film and he play under Mohamed Ghouse. Because D.T was the lyricist to Asokamala film and He had a strong Friend ship with Shanthikumar Senavirathne who film Director. middle of 1950 Amaradewa went for his higher studies Bhathkande Institute of Music in Lucknow, India. After come back to Sri Lanka. D .T was travel Kaluthara to Colombo Amaradewa get in to bus to Moratuwa he met Amaradeva And Amaradeva invited to write a lyrics for him. D .T says that he wrote song of “Peenamuko Kalugange” on travailing bus but could not write Last verse. Because Amaradewa had to get off Bambalapitiya.

Amardeva left his studies and accompanied Ghouse to India to work on the film. He would play a triple role of singing, dancing and acting on the film with the song “Ayi Yameku Kale Ale.”


He found steady work as an artist on Radio Ceylon, where his unique vision and talent could be exhibited to an audience wider than he had ever before known – earning him a position at the Bhathkande Institute of Music in Lucknow, India. After extensive training, Albert returned to Sri Lanka as Pandit Wannakuwattawaduge Don Amaradeva.The name Amaradeva which translates as Immortal god was given to him by Prof. Ediriweera Sarachchandra (Sri Lanka’s foremost playwright and a close associate).

During this time, Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) had only begun emerging as an independent nation, and the question of what Sri Lankan music was, was slowly being addressed with equal vigour by intellectuals, artists and the general public. In response to the spirit of these times, Amaradeva began interweaving indigenous folk music with the Indian ragas he had studied in Lucknow, thereby giving expression to a more sophisticated cadence.

His other innovations include his experimentation with Western harmonies and counterharmonies, as well as with South Indian and Tamil musical forms. His opus, however, remains the work he did with Sri Lanka’s celebrated lyricist Mahagama Sekera, in exploring the contours of fusing classical Sinhala poetry with his unique musical intonation. In time, Amaradeva’s music came to reflect an entire philosophy, reflective of the spirit of a nation.

He has composed music for ballet(Karadiya, Nala Damayanthi, etc), film(Ran Muthu Duwa, Gam Peraliya, Ransalu, Delovak Athara, Gatavarayo, Rena Girav, Thunman Handiya, etc), theatre(Wessantara, etc), radio and television, and has sung over one thousand songs.

Amaradeva, and wife Wimala, have one son (Ranjana Amaradeva), and two daughters (Subhani Amaradeva, herself a talented vocalist, and Priyanvada Amaradeva).

Listen to Amaradeva Voice….


Music director

Year Film Other notes
1962 Ran Muthu Duwa debut as music director
1963 Adata Wadiya Heta Hondai songs only
Sikuru Tharuwa one song and background music
1965 Saama background music
Laa Dalu
Adarayai Karunawai
1966 Delovak Athara
Westhuru Siritha

Nanda Malini

Nanda malini is a Sri Lankan singer. Her traditional style of Sri Lanka music has gained her praise and popularity and won her 12 Sarasaviya Awards and 10 Presidential Awards for Best Singer and the Most Popular Singer.

Born August 23, 1943(1943-08-23)
Aluthgama, Sri Lanka
Nationality Sri Lanka Sri Lankan
Other names Mirihana Arachchige Nanda Perera, Nanda Malini Gokula,Sri Lanka’s melody queen
Education Sri Gunananda Vidyalaya, Bhathkande University at Lucknow, India
Occupation Singer
Religion Buddhist
Spouse Suneth Gokula
Children Varuni Saroja,Ama Sarada

Listen to her Voice

Early life

Malini was born to a rural family of nine in Lewanduwa in Aluthgama. She moved to Kotahena in Colombo as an adolescent and was admitted to Sri Gunananda Vidyalaya where she came under the tutelage of T. N. Margaret Perera.she was a classic teacher and Assessing the student’s latent talents. she took on the role of mother and began to guide the destinies of Nanda Malini After winning a poetry contest, Malini was taken to Radio Ceylon by Perera and sang “Budu Sadu” on Karunarante Abeysekera’s popular programme Lama Mandapaya. After some time, Nanda Malini’s lilting voice came on the air with the ever popular song Budu Sadu. Even Sarath Wimalaweera who was a leading figure at Radio Ceylon gave her all the assistance to come up in life as a classical singer


Malini continued her training after achieving fame, learning under B. Victor Perera, studying for a year at Heywood and moving on to Bhathkande University at Lucknow, India in 1963. She would later return to the University to obtain a Visharada degree in 1984

As a singer

1961 when Serendib Company decided to make Ranmuthu Duwa– Sri Lanka’s first colour film in Sinhala.” The company picked Pandith Amaradeva to direct the music. When the maestro invited her to sing a duet with Narada Disasekera for the film, Nanda Malini sang her debut film song Galana Gangaki Jeevithe. The film became such a success that it won all the Sarsaviya Awards that year. She gained more popularity with this song “Galana Gangaki Jeevithe.


The song Budu Sadu she sang to D. D. Danie’s musical score had a tremendous impact on her career. Pandith Amaradeva gave her another surprise by selecting Nanda Malini for his popular musical programme Madhuvanthi in which she sang Sannaliyane and Ran Dahadiya Bindu Bindu gaining more experience and capacity for singing.Upon Malini appeared on Amaradeva’s programme Madhuvanthi singing “Sannaliyane” and “Ran Dahadiya Bindu Bindu.”

Malini has had a string of successful releases: Perada Maha Re, Pahan Kanda, Sathyaye Geethaya, Hemanthayedi, Tharuka Es, Pavana, Sindu Hodiya, Kinduriyakage Vilapaya, Madhu Bandun, Tharu, Malmada Bisau, Cinema Geethavalokana, Kirimadu Vel, Londonyedi Geyu Gee, Yathra, Handahami, Sanka Padma, Pembara Lanka, Kunkuma Pottu, Gramaphone Gee, Araliya Landata, Malata Renu, Nilambare, Sari Podittak and Pirith Pen.

The string of cassettes and CDs she has released so far include Perada Maha Re, Pahan Kanda, Sathyaye Geethaya, Hemanthayedi, Tharuka Es, Pavana, Sindu Hodiya, Kinduriyakage Vilapaya, Madhu Bandun, Tharu, Malmada Bisau, Cinema Geethavalokana, Kirimadu Vel, Londonyedi Geyu Gee, Yathra, Handahami, Sanka Padma, Pembara Lanka, Kunkuma Pottu, Gramaphone Gee, Araliya Landata, Malata Renu, Nilambare, Sari Podittak, and Pirith Pen. In fact, it would be a difficult task to find a household where there is no cassette or CD carrying Nanda Malini’s mellifluous rendering of songs.

After signing quite a few love songs, she turned her attention to devotional songs. For instance her song Danno Budunge sung for Sadhu Nada cassette is treated as a second national anthem. This is a very rare honour for any vocalist. Later she turned her attention to signing songs for children. For instance, Handahami had 14 songs the lyrics of which had been written by Ananda Rajakaruna, Kumaratunga Munidasa, and Ven. S. Mahinda Thera. This was followed by Sindu Hodiya (1990) carrying 16 songs meant to introduce the alphabet.


Nanda Malini has won 12 Sarasaviya Awards and 10 Presidential Awards for Best Singer and the Most Popular Singer. Such awards sit lightly on her as she has not given up the quest to sing something different every time she put out a cassette or a Compact Disc. Best singer Film Awards- , Galana Gangaki Jeewithe – Ranmuthu Duva1963 , Me Sinhala Apage Ratai Saravita1965 ,Ranga Sedol kandulu1967 , Kinchi Pinchi Punchi Panchi Adaravanthyo1968 , Handa Havun Monara Thenna1979 , Singing Poet Siribo ayya1980 , Denodahak nuwan athre Vajira1981 , Ammavarune Yasaisuru1982 , Ahasin Polavata Pemrajadahana1992 , Ivuru bindunu Gan thlava Ambudaruvo1995

Since then she has won awards almost every year. She was invited to Singapore, Malaysia, Pakistan, Germany, The Soviet Union, United kingdom, Italy, and France, Middle-east countries and Maldives countries where she gave very successful concerts. In 1988, December 16, she performed her 250th concert and for 22 years has been inactive. Enchanting vocalist Nanda Malini in partnership with Sirasa FM will launch a musical extravaganza consisting of 25 concerts Island wide featuring live solo performances by the songstress from September 2010.


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