Anthony Gonsalves

19 Feb 2019
19 Jan 2012
Film Industry
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Anthony Prabhu Gonsalves (1927 – 19 January 2012) was an Indian musical composer, music arranger and teacher born in the village of Majorda (near Margao in Goa, then Portuguese India), who during the mid-1950s, attempted to merge the symphonies of his Goan heritage with the Hindustani melodies and rhythms in films of the day.

Later, he was popularised as a lead character in the 1977 hit, Amar Akbar Anthony, played by Amitabh Bachchan, was named after him, especially with the song, “My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves”.

He found his first job in the city as a violinist in the group of the composer Naushad in 1943. He taught R.D. Burman and Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma-( father of music director Pyarelal]] of Laxmikant-Pyarelal team) and has worked with most of the legendary composers of the 1950s and 1960s. A few examples of his work are B.R. Chopra (Naya Daur, Waqt), Naushad (Dillagi), and Chetan Anand (Haqeeqat). The song “My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves” was Pyarelal’s tribute to his violin teacher.

In 1958, Gonsalves founded the Symphony Orchestra of India (as distinct from the Symphony Orchestra of India) featuring playback singers Lata Mangeshkar and Manna Dey as soloists, the works were performed in the quadrangle of St. Xavier’s College in Mapusa, Goa.

In 1965, he quit the film industry and went to the United States, via a travelling grant from Syracuse University in New York. He became a member of the American Society of Composers, Publishers and Authors, and later in returned to India, settled in his ancestral village of Majorda in Goa, and continued composing music, though he never joined the Hindi films againHe died in 2012 of pneumonia and hypotension

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