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| Ravi Shankar
(The Sitar Maestro)
Pandit Ravi Shankar was the Great Sitarist of the century. He was popular in national as well as in international world. His music was like a magic. Sitarist’s ability was to infuse the pulse of the time into timeless ragas. Truely he was the Ratna of his mother land Bharat and so he got Bharat Ratna.
Ravi Shankar was born in Banaras to the Diwan of Jhalawar on 7th April, 1922. He began his career at the age of 10 as the youngest member of the Paris based, dance troupe of his elder brother Uday Shankar. He received training in Sitar from Ustad Alauddin Khan of Mahiar. During his formative years, he was in friendship of Yehudi Menuhim, which laid Ravi Shankar’s foundation.
Ravi Shankar wrote and conducted orchestral music for ballet set to Nehru’s ‘Discovery of India’ in very fine way. He also gave music for the films like Dharti Ke Led, Anuradha and Neecha Nagar and Father Panchali. He had also composed the evergreen music for Saare Jahan se Achcha. He also teamed up with western classics like Memuhim, Zubin Mehta and Philip Glass. He had given the world a number of sensitive ragas.
He received Venice Festival Award in 1976 and was elected a Fellow of the Sangeet Natak Academy. Some Universities have conferred on him Doctorates. In 1986, he was honoured by being nominated a member of Rajya Sabha. He also received Magsaysay Award. He established Killnara School of Music in Los Angeles (U.S.A.) in 1967 for popularising Indian Music. His excellent musical career has been revealed in his autobiography “My life and my music”. His second home was California. He had established “Ravi Shankar Institute of Music and performing Arts (RIMPA) which is not a teaching school but a research centre with a music room, an open air theatre, a library and a selected group of talented students.
On 6 December 2012, Shankar was admitted to Scripps Memorial Hospital in San Diego, California after complaining of breathing difficulties. He died on 11th December 2012 at the age of 92.