Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Ravi Shankar Passes Away

The sitar legend Ravi Shankar died yesterday in a hospital in San Diego. He had undergone heart surgery on Thursday but recovery proved too difficult. He was 92.

He was born Robindra Shankar on the 7th of April1920 in Varanasi, the youngest of four brothers. Ravi Shankar was originally a dancer and toured with his brother Uday's dance troup around the world. He gave up dancing aged 18 to become a sitar player. For seven years Ravi Shankar studied under Baba Allauddin Khan, founder of the Maihar Gharana style of Hindustani classical music.

Ravi Shankar was the first Indian musician to become a household name in Europe and American. He collaborated with a number of western musicians including Philip Class, violinist Yehudi Menuhin, jazz saxophonist John Coltrane and Beatle George Harrison who once called him "the godfather of world music."

He played all over the world including Woodstock and the 1967 Monterey Pop festival. Ravi Shankar was also a composer for ballets and films. He wrote a number of film scores including Satyajit Ray's Apu trilogy and Richard Attenborough's Gandh. In 1999, Ravi Shankar was awarded the highest civilian citation in India the Bharat Ratna, or Jewel of India.

For the last years of his life, Ravi Shankar lived in Encinitas, California. He is survived by his wife Sukanya, Granmmy winning daughter Norah Jones and daughter Anoushka Shankar Wright who also played the sitar. He also leaves behind three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

No comments: