Sonam Tshering Lepcha, an Indian folk musician, composer and lyricist passed on Thursday at the age of 92. PM Modi took to Twitter to express condolences.
"Padma Shri Ren Sonam Tshering Lepcha Ji was a a multi-faceted personality. He made outstanding efforts to popularise the great Lepcha culture. His works are respected across generations. Anguished by his demise. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti," PM Modi said.
Who is Sonam Tshering Lepcha?
Sonam Tshering Lepcha, born on January 3, 1928 in Bong Busty, Kalimpong, West Bengal, started his career as a soldier. He later went on to pursue Indian folk music. He was a prolific composer and lyricist.
Lepcha travelled to various parts of Sikkim and collected several traditional musical instruments and even compiled a wide range of folk songs. He is said to be the first among the Lepcha community to feature on All India Radio in 1960. He also played a major role in the revival of Lepcha culture which is one of the indigenous cultures of Sikkim.
During his career, he has been credited with over 400 folk songs, 102 folk dances and 10 dance dramas. Lepcha is the founder of a museum in Kalimpong which has various ancient and rare artifacts. The museum also includes indigenous musical instruments, ancient weapons and manuscripts.
Lepcha received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award of the Sangeet Natak Akademi in 1995.
In 2007, Lepcha was conferred with Padma Shri by the Government of India for his exemplary work in the field of folk music.