Fela Sowande was a Nigerian music composer and organist who made significant contributions to the world of African classical music. Born on May 29, 1905, in Lagos, Nigeria, he was one of the first African musicians to achieve international acclaim.
Early Life and Education
Sowande was born into a patrician family of the Yoruba people. His father was a clergyman, and his mother was a homemaker. He grew up in a family of nine children, and music was an integral part of their upbringing. His father sang hymns and played the harmonium, and Sowande learned to play the piano at an early age.
After completing his primary education in Lagos, Sowande received a scholarship to attend the prestigious Cathedral School in Lagos. He later attended the prestigious St. Andrew’s College, Oyo, where he studied music and became proficient in playing the organ and the violin.
After completing his studies, Sowande became the organist and choirmaster at the prestigious Cathedral Church of Christ in Lagos. He later studied at the Royal College of Music, London, where he earned a diploma in composition and conducting. He was the first African to receive this honor.
Throughout his career, Sowande composed many pieces that incorporated Western classical music with African rhythms and melodies. His music was influenced by the Yoruba folk music and other African traditional music genres.
Sowande’s discography includes several recordings of his own compositions.
|Album Title||Year of Release|
|Fela Sowande Plays Bach and Handel||1966|
|Fela Sowande: The Art of the Organ||2010|
|Symphonies No. 2 and No. 3||1957|
Sowande was married to Princess Titiola Sowande and had four children. He was a devout Christian and was active in the church throughout his life.
Sowande’s net worth was estimated to be around $1 million at the time of his death on March 13, 1987. This is equivalent to approximately 403 million Nigerian Naira, 1.3 million Canadian Dollars, 14.9 million Ghanaian Cedis, 352 million Kenyan Shillings, 12.6 million South African Rand, 4.7 billion Ugandan Shillings, and 71.5 million Indian Rupees.
Source: Celebrity Net Worth.
For more information about Fela Sowande and his legacy, you can follow his official social media accounts:
Whether you’re a fan of African classical music or simply appreciate remarkable figures in the musical world, Fela Sowande’s contributions to the industry are undeniable. His work and legacy continue to inspire and influence musicians around the world today.