Pandit Ravi Shankar

in Famous & Upcoming Musicians, Sitar

Pandit Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar is one of the legendary Sitarist and composer. He can be proudly called as Music Ambassador of India. He has contributed a lot to the Indian music by playing various roles such as composer, teacher, writer and a performer.

Pandit Ravi Shankar was born on 7 April, 1920 in Varanasi in a Brahmin Family and was named Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury. He was youngest of his seven brothers.

Ravi Shankar is popularly known for his outstanding contribution for the promotion of Indian music in the east as well as west. Along With him, the credit also goes to his esteemed Guru, Baba Allauddin Khan.

Till date, he has written three concertos for sitar and orchestra, last one of which was completed in 2008. He has also devised various compositions for the violin-sitar duo for himself and Yehudi Menuhin. He has also composed two record albums namely  “Shankar Family & Friends” and “Festival of India” which were produced by George Harrison.

He is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a member of the United Nations International Rostrum of composers. He has also won many respectable honors and awards from Indian as well as World.

Few of them are:  14 Doctorates, the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan, Desikottam, Padma Bhushan of 1967, the Music Council UNESCO Award 1975, the Magsaysay Award from Manila, two Grammy’s, the Fukuoka Grand Prize from Japan, the Polar Music Prize of 1998, the Crystal Award from Davos, with the title ‘Global Ambassador‘ etc. He has also remained a member of Rajya Sabha(upper house of Indian Parliament) for some period of time. He recomposed the song “Saare Jahan se  Achha” at the age of 25 and worked as a music director of “All India Radio”  from February 1949 to January 1956.

He is such a kind-hearted and helpful person that he helped refugees who came to India during the Bangladesh Freedom struggle from Pakistan by holding concerts and collecting money for their help. This concert paved a way for more fundraising events in future.

He developed a unique method to combine traditional instruments to electronics through his new album ”tana-mana”. Through this album Indian Music reached a “New-Age”.

He celebrated his 50 years of concertizing in 1989 and he was accredited by the city of Birmingham Touring Opera Company to do a music theatre called ”Ghanashyam – a broken branch” which has left a memorable mark in the history of  the British arts scene. Several disciples of Ravi Shankar are now very successful artists and composers.

Greatest tributes can be made to him by the precious words from his colleagues:

Ravi Shankar has brought me a precious gift and through him I have added a new dimension to my experience of music. To me, his genius and his humanity can only be compared to that of Mozart’s – Yehudi Menuhin

Ravi Shankar is the Godfather of World Music” – George Harrison

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