Award-winning music engineer Milan Bertosa dead at 61.
What Happened to Milan Bertosa?
Bertosa’s friends and family announced that he passed away on Sunday, Jan. 1 at the age of 61 of a heart attack.
“Milan showed no signs of illness and appeared to be in good health, enjoying the holidays, cooking, and celebrating with friends in the days before his death. On New Year’s Eve, Milan died. He suffered a devastating heart attack that led to his untimely and unexpected death,” said a close family friend.
Milan Bertosa‘s Cause of Death
Hawaii music industry mourns death of award-winning engineer Milan Bertosa. The Hawaii music industry is mourning the death of icon Milan Bertoia. He died on New Year’s Day of a heart attack. He was 61.
Bertosa is survived by his wife, Maya, and his dedicated music industry companions. Although he will officially be laid to rest in Chicago with his family, there will be a Celebration of Life fundraiser on Sunday, March 12 at Hawaiian Brian’s to help his family pay for medical and funeral expenses.
— Hawaii News Now (@HawaiiNewsNow) January 8, 2023
Who was Milan Bertosa?
Born in the former Yugoslavia, Bertosa’s family fled the Soviet-occupied territories. And he eventually landed in Chicago by age seven. He has won the Na Hoku Hano Hano Award four times in recognition of his sound/music engineering talents.
He attended Columbia College where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communications with an emphasis on Recording and Sound Engineering. Bertosa went on to train with legendary Chess Records chief engineer, Malcolm Chisholm.
Together with Jim Linkner, Dave Russell, and Dave Tucharon, he won Henry Kapono’s Song for Someone in 1991. He and He Porter Miller performed N’Leo Pilimehana’s Clouds in 1998. On the albums Hanai’ali’i (1999) and Na Leo Pilimehana’s A Pocketful of Paradise (2001) with Howard Women, he collaborated with Amy Hanaiali’i Gilliom and Willie K.
His rendition of Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World in Hawaiian was, however, his most well-known composition. Kamakawiwoole Israel The song became the most frequently requested tune in Hawaii and a platinum bestseller.
Born in the former Yugoslavia, Bertosa’s family fled the Soviet occupied region; and he eventually landed in Chicago by the age of seven. He went on to win four Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards for his talents in sound/music Engineering.https://t.co/BUdXSHiL3A
— KHON2 News (@KHONnews) January 8, 2023
Audio Resources Hawaii
Bertosa is best known for working with Israel Kamakawiwo’ole on “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World.” During a midnight session at Milan’s studio, bruddah Iz recorded “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “White Sandy Beach of Hawaii” in one take.
According to a news release of his death, Bertosa “co-opened Audio Resources Hawai’i. Starting off as a small recording studio in the Century Center building near Waikīkī, they soon opened a second location on Young Street, in the same space where Herb Ono’s revered “Sounds of Hawai’i” studios once operated. Milan later served nine years as the chief studio engineer for Mountain Apple Company before pursuing a freelance career.”
COVID took a toll on Bertosa’s music business
Legend has it that “as Milan was wrapping up and shutting down his studio for the night after a very long and challenging day, his phone rang. A client told him he was with Israel, who wanted to come by and record a few demos.
Milan’s initial response was to decline because it was 3 a.m. Israel, however, came to the phone to share his thoughts and ideas. It was so sincere and polite that Milan agreed and reopened his studio. During that midnight session, Milan recorded Israel as he sang a one-take-wonder performance of two songs: Somewhere Over the Rainbow and White Sandy Beach of Hawai‘i.”
COVID took a toll on Bertosa’s music business; but according to those close to him, he had high hopes for 2023.
Milan Bertosa Career
Bertosa had an illustrious career working with some of the top engineers in the music industry. Then, upon moving to Hawaii, he produced some of Hawaii’s most iconic music.
Veronica Kawananakoa donates over $750,000 to Iolani Palace.
The move saw him join legends such as Israel Kamakawiwole, Brothers Casimero, Ka’au Crater Boys, Amy Hanaiali’i Gilliom, Don Ho, Kalapana, Willie K, Hawaiian Style Band, Cecilio & Kapono. I am in a position to work. , Nā Leo Pilimehana, Mānoa DNA, Pacific Harp Project, Teresa Bright, Uluwehi Guerrero, Aunty Irmgard Farden Aluli — just to name a few.