Kongar-ol Ondar

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Kongar-ool Ondar
Ондар Коңгар-оол
Ondar in 1993
Ondar in 1993
Background information
Born(1962-03-29)29 March 1962
Near the Khemchik River, Tuvan ASSR, Soviet Union (now Tuva, Russia)
Died25 July 2013(2013-07-25) (aged 51)
Kyzyl, Tuva, Russia
GenresTuvan throat singing
InstrumentsDoshpuluur, Igil, Chanzy
Years active1980 - 2013
LabelsWarner Bros. Records
Kongar-ool Borisovich Ondar

Kongar-ool Borisovich Ondar (Tuvan: Ондар Коңгар-оол Борис оглу, Ondar Konggar-ool Boris oglu, [ɔnˈdɑr kɔŋˈɡɑrɔːɮ bɐˈris ɔˈɡlu]; 29 March 1962 – 25 July 2013) was a master Tuvan throat singer and a member of the Great Khural of Tuva. Ondar was born near the Khemchik River in western Tuva. Considered a living treasure by the Republic of Tuva, Ondar was granted a stipend and an apartment for the musical skills he possessed. Jovial and personable, Ondar is probably the best-known face of khöömei (Tuvan: хөөмей) throat singing to Westerners, appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman, the Oscar-nominated documentary Genghis Blues, and in interviews for CNN and other networks.

In the Central Asian tradition of self-fulfilling child naming, Kongar-ool literally translates to "loud boy."

Ondar is also known outside Tuva for inviting American blues musician Paul Pena to Tuva. Pena, who had learned throat singing before coming to Tuva, was the subject of the documentary Genghis Blues in which Ondar was also featured.

In 1992, Ondar won an international throat-singing contest, which brought invitations to perform in Europe and the United States.[1] In 1993, he performed at Frank Zappa's eclectic "garden party/soiree" gathering in his last days.[2]

Kongar-ool Borisovich Ondar in his homeland of Tuva

He also appears on the Béla Fleck and the Flecktones albums Outbound, album/DVD Live at the Quick, and Jingle All the Way.[3] He released one album on Warner Bros. Records, Back Tuva Future.

His first studio album, 1996's Echoes of Tuva, was released by the TuvaMuch Music label.

He died after emergency surgery for a brain hemorrhage in Kyzyl on July 25, 2013. He was 51 years old.[4]


  1. ^ Woo, Elaine (August 10, 2013), "Kongar-ol Ondar, master of Tuvan throat singing, dies at 51", The Los Angeles Times
  2. ^ Frank Zappa - Salad Party Home Video Feb 15th 1993
  3. ^ Béla Fleck and the Flecktones album Live at the Quick at AllMusic.com
  4. ^ Reuters Entertainment Ondar death

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