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Kongar-ol Ondar, 51, master of a vocal art

Kongar-ol Ondar played with such artists as Frank Zappa, Paul Pena, and Bela Fleck.
Kongar-ol Ondar played with such artists as Frank Zappa, Paul Pena, and Bela Fleck.

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NEW YORK — Kongar-ol Ondar, an internationally renowned master of Tuvan throat singing, the Central Asian vocal art in which a singer produces two or more notes simultaneously — and which to the uninitiated sounds like the bewitching, remarkably harmonious marriage of a vacuum cleaner and a bumblebee — died on July 25 in Kyzyl, Tuva’s capital. He was 51.

A region in southern Siberia just north of Mongolia, Tuva was an independent country from 1921 until 1944, when it was annexed by the Soviet Union. The region is now part of the Russian Federation.

Mr. Ondar was a superstar in Tuva — “like John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley and Michael Jordan kind of rolled into one,” in the words of “Genghis Blues” (1999), an Oscar-nominated documentary about throat singing.

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