The 19th edition of the prestigious ‘Kalakar Puraskar,’ organized by the Carvalho Household of Kundapura in association with Mandd Sobhann, Mangaluru, was awarded to Apolinaris D’Souza, a prominent Konkani singer, lyricist, and composer. The award ceremony took place on the 5th of November 2023, during a public event held at Kalaagann, Mangaluru.
A Journey of Dedication and Creativity
- Apolinaris D’Souza, born in 1953, embarked on a journey of artistic excellence from a young age. After completing his education at St Aloysius College, Mangalore, he ventured to Oman in search of better opportunities.
- His passion for Konkani music, combined with his dedication and creativity, paved the way for a remarkable career. Apolinaris’s contributions to Konkani music have left an indelible mark, both in Oman and his hometown, Mangalore.
- Throughout his life, Apolinaris actively participated in and won numerous singing competitions and he became a popular Konkani singer, songwriter, and composer
- He has produced nine audio albums featuring a diverse array of songs and hymns, and authored two books containing a rich collection of musical compositions.
- In the digital age, he expanded his reach by creating over 250 videos of Konkani and English hymns for his YouTube channel, making his music accessible to a global audience.
- Apolinaris D’Souza’s hymns are still celebrated today, particularly for their role in the transition from Latin to Konkani in religious liturgy.
- Some of his popular compositions include ‘Møn’dirant Bhitør Sørun,’ ‘Ørgam Tuka Somiya,’ ‘Ye Ye Jezu Mogalla,’ ‘Unddya Vayna Søvem,’ ‘Vetam Somiya,’ and ‘Sasnnacho Vishev.’
- His role in organizing the first Konkani program in Muscat in 1976 is a testament to his pioneering spirit.
- He also organized ‘Apoli Night’ and served as the choirmaster at Sts. Peter & Paul Church in Ruwi for nearly two decades.
- Apolinaris made significant contributions to the Muscat Konkani Catholic Community (MKCC) and the Mangalorean Catholic Center of the Parish (MCCP) organizations in Oman.
The Significance of the ‘Kalakar Puraskar’
- The ‘Kalakar Puraskar’ was established in 2005 by linguist Pratap Naik, SJ, and his Carvalho Household of Kundapura.
- This annual award is presented to individuals from the Karnataka region in recognition of their outstanding achievements in various fields related to Konkani culture, including music, dance, theatre, folklore, and cinema.
- The award not only celebrates the recipient’s contributions but also serves as a testament to the richness and diversity of Konkani art and culture.