Miah, Dhir Ali

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Dhir Ali Miah

Miah, Dhir Ali (1920-1984) flute player, composer, director and orchestra conductor, was born in the village of Bashbari under tongibari upazila in munshiganj district on 1 January 1920, After completing his primary education, he studied for some time at the Sonarang High School. But his special love for music led him to leave school and start learning the flute from a musician named Sadeq Ali. Dhir Ali was also equally skilled in playing violin, guitar and clarinet. However, he was widely known as a flautist. He introduced a new trend in music by blending folk tunes with modern Bangla songs.

Dhir Ali made his debut as a casual flute player at the Dhaka station of the All India Radio in 1945. After 1947, he joined the Dhaka station of Radio Pakistan as a staff artist in 1948, and retired from service in 1983 as Deputy Chief Music Producer. He also taught at the Bulbul Academy of Fine Arts (BAFA) and the Arts Council.

Dhir Ali organised an orchestra group named ‘Dhaka Orchestra’ which played a remarkable role in the development of music. He participated in many music conferences abroad where he showed his excellence in music. He regularly took part in the ‘All Pakistan Radio Music Conference’ held in Lahore from 1952 to 1962 as artist and director, acquainting the non-Bengali audience with Bengali music.

He also participated twice at the Bengal Cultural Conference held in India. After the independence of Bangladesh, he represented the country at the Indo-Bangladesh Friendship Conference held in 1972. He also visited Russia and Afghanistan as a member of the Bangladesh cultural troupe.

His Master`s Voice and Dhaka Gramophone companies produced a large number of records composed and directed by Dhir Ali. He was also associated with the film world. He worked as assistant music director of the first full-length feature film Mukh O Mukosh produced in Dhaka. Subsequently he was the music director of many feature films, such as Nachghar, Ujala, Joyar Elo, Kavchanmala, Abar Banabase Rupbhan, Dasyurani, and Kajalrekha.

He was awarded the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz in 1965 by the government of Pakistan and the Ekushey Padak (posthumously) in 1986 by the government of Bangladesh in recognition of his contribution to music. [Mobarak Hossain Khan]