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R. A. Chandrasena
Died when: 55 years 187 days
Star Sign: Virgo
R. A. Chandrasena (Sinhala: ආර්. ඒ. චන්ද්රසේන) was a Sri Lankan musician who earned his reputation as a highly talented and gifted artist and also by his contribution to the Sri Lankan music discipline and the industry during 1940–1980. He commenced his career when he was twelve years old in late 1930s at his entry to the musical programmes in Radio Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation) with his gifted talents in playing many musical instruments whatever came to his hands. Notably, excelling in keyboard instruments such as harmonium, piano accordion, piano, organ and also the oriental instruments such as tabla, mandolin and violin. Chandrasena established his institute of music in December 1951 and titled it as Chandrasena Sangeethaayathanaya (Chandrasena Institute of Music). This institute turned out be the stepping stone for many musicians in that era and in the subsequent generation. R A Chandrasena provided his expertise, knowledge and mentorship to many artists in a humble and relentless manner during his lifetime. In 1969, Chandrasena launched a gramophone record company by which 45 RPM EP records were issued to the Sri Lankan Sinhala songs market under the labels of RAC and Shrimath. All the songs in these records were composed and music directed by R A Chandrasena and he managed to use the talents of many professional singers and lyrics writers effectively in these master pieces. During his relatively short life, he achieved reputations as a professional composer, a singer, a drama/film music director, a music teacher and more over as a mentor for many musicians and artists at the early stages of their professional path, especially in refining their talents. Among the many, the key personalities who were well coached and mentored by Chandrasena are Dharmadasa Walpola (1949), Guruge Khemadasa Perera, later known as Premasiri Khemadasa (1953), and Victor Ratnayake (1962).