Hawaii music industry mourns death of award-winning engineer Milan Bertosa

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – The Hawaiian music industry mourns the loss of icon Milan Bertosa.

He died of a heart attack on New Year’s Day. he was 61 years old.

Bertosa has won the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for Engineering four times and has contributed to the recordings of many well-known local artists.

Bertosa is best known for working with Israel Kamakawiwole on “Somewhere Over the Rainbow / What a Wonderful World”. At a midnight session in a studio in Milan, Brudder recorded “Over the Rainbow” and “White Sands of Hawaii” in his one take.

Born in Yugoslavia, Bertosa grew up in Chicago and has worked on projects around the world. He settled in Hawaii in 1988 and is credited with over 700 albums, thousands of singles and live shows. He is remembered for his work in preserving and promoting traditional and contemporary island music.

According to his obituary, Bertosa “co-founded Audio Resources Hawai’i. Starting as a small recording studio in the Century Center building near Waikiki, they soon opened a second studio on Yonge Street. This is where Herb Ono’s “Sound of Hawaii” studio once operated. After that, Milan worked for the Mountain Apple Company as chief of his studio and his engineer for nine years before pursuing a freelance career.

Bertosa is survived by his wife Maya and his studio cats.

A Celebration of Life fundraising concert in honor of Berttha will be held on March 12 at Hawaiian Bryan’s in Honolulu.

Friends have also set up a GO FUND ME page to help with medical and funeral costs.

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