Fri, 04 May 2001

Angklung master Mang Udjo dies

Udjo Ngalagena, a noted artist who dedicated much of his life to the traditional Sundanese bamboo music angklung, died early on Thursday at the age of 72.

He was buried later in the day in a cemetery near his home in Sirnagalih village in Paduka, Bandung. Among those attending the funeral to pay their respects were West Java Governor R. Nuriana and several artists from the province, including Syam Bimbo.

The man who helped introduce traditional Sundanese music to the world is survived by a wife and 10 children.

One of his sons, Daeng Oktafiandi, said his father passed away just a day after returning home from a week's stay in Boromeus Hospital, where he was treated for complications from liver disease and diabetes.

Mang Udjo, as he was known, tirelessly promoted angklung from the time he founded his band Angklung Udjo in 1966. Over the years, the band played in England, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Japan.

When not performing, Mang Udjo took the time to teach others the art of angklung, founding a music center at his home. There are now over 150 people studying at the center for free, including a Japanese.

The music center has become a favorite stop for visitor to Bandung who wish to enjoy an angklung performance.

The government awarded Mang Udjo the Adhikarya Pariwisata medal in 1997 for his contributions to tourism in the country. (25)