Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar (7 April 1920 – 11 December 2012), born Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury, his name often preceded
by the title Pandit, was an Indian musician who was one of the best-known exponents of the sitar in the second half of
the 20th century as well as a composer of Hindustani classical music.
Shankar was born to a Bengali family in Varanasi, India,[3] and spent his youth touring India and Europe with the
dance group of his brother Uday Shankar. He gave up dancing in 1938 to study sitar playing under court
musician Allauddin Khan. After finishing his studies in 1944, Shankar worked as a composer, creating the music for
the Apu Trilogy bySatyajit Ray, and was music director of All India Radio, New Delhi, from 1949 to 1956.
In 1956 he began to tour Europe and the Americas playing Indian classical music and increased its popularity there in
the 1960s through teaching, performance, and his association with violinist Yehudi
Menuhin and Beatles guitaristGeorge Harrison. Shankar engaged Western music by writing compositions for sitar
and orchestra, and toured the world in the 1970s and 1980s. From 1986 to 1992 he served as a nominated member
of Rajya Sabha, the upper chamber of the Parliament of India. He continued to perform up until the end of his life. In
1999 Shankar was awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna.
Shankar was born on 7 April 1920 in Varanasi, India, to a Bengali family, as the youngest of seven brothers.[2][4][5] His
father, Shyam Shankar, was a Middle Templebarrister and scholar from East Bengal (now Bangladesh). A respected
statesman, lawyer and politician, he served for several years as dewan (chief minister) ofJhalawar, Rajasthan, and
used the Sanskrit spelling of the family name and removed its last part.[2][6] Shyam was married to Shankar's mother
Hemangini Devi who hailed from a small village named Nasrathpur in Mardah block of Ghazipur district,
near Benares, and her father was a prosperous landlord. Shyam later worked as a lawyer in London, England,[2] and
there he married a second time while Devi raised Shankar in Varanasi, and did not meet his son until he was eight
years old.[2]Shankar shortened the Sanskrit version of his first name, Ravindra, to Ravi, for "sun".[2] Shankar had six
siblings, only four of whom lived past infancy: Uday, Rajendra, Debendra and Bhupendra. Shankar attended the
Bengalitola High School in Benares between 1927 and 1928.[citation needed]
At the age of ten, after spending his first decade in Varanasi, Shankar went to Paris with the dance group of his
brother, choreographer Uday Shankar.[7][8] By the age of 13 he had become a member of the group, accompanied its
members on tour and learned to dance and play various Indian instruments.[4][5] Uday's dance group toured Europe
and the United States in the early to mid-1930s and Shankar learned French, discovered Western classical music,
jazz, cinema and became acquainted with Western customs.[9] Shankar heard the lead musician for the Maihar court,
Allauddin Khan, in December 1934 at a music conference in Kolkata and Uday convinced the Maharaja of Maihar in
1935 to allow Khan to become his group's soloist for a tour of Europe.[9] Shankar was sporadically trained by Khan on
tour, and Khan offered Shankar training to become a serious musician under the condition that he abandon touring
and come to Maihar.[9]
Shankar's parents had died by the time he returned from the European tour, and touring the West had become
difficult due to political conflicts that would lead to World War II.[10] Shankar gave up his dancing career in 1938 to go
to Maihar and studyIndian classical music as Khan's pupil, living with his family in the traditional gurukul system.
[7]

Khan was a rigorous teacher and Shankar had training on sitar and surbahar, learned ragas and the musical

styles dhrupad, dhamar, and khyal, and was taught the techniques of the instruments rudra veena, rubab,
and sursingar.[7][11] He often studied with Khan's children Ali Akbar Khan and Annapurna Devi.[10] Shankar began to

both as a performer (often in conjunction withSitar maestro Ravi Shankar). he accompanied Ravi Shankar on the sarod during the latter's debut performance at the same conference. in present-day Bangladesh. in December 1939. but you must practice for many more years before you finally become a true artist—then you may please even God. in 1989. Santa Cruz. in later years he was joined in his lessons by his sister Annapurna Devi. Lucknow. who came to study with his father. Brahmanbaria . while Khan became the youngest Music Director for AIR.[12] Ali Akbar Khan Ali Akbar Khan (Bengali: আলল আকবর খখখ) (14 April 1922–18 June 2009). Ali Akbar Khan was born in the village of Shibpur. at the age of 13. such as the sarodist Timir Baran and flutist Pannalal Ghosh. (then Comilla.[7] .[2] Trained as a musician and instrumentalist by his father.[9] Ali Akbar Khan. and Khan's lessons started before dawn and often lasted 18 hours a day. often referred to as Khansahib or by the titleUstad (master). both Shankar and Khan left Maihar to start their professional careers as musicians. but finally gravitated towards the sarod. who became an accomplished player of the surbahar. after years of rigorous training gave his debut performance at a music conference in Allahabad in 1936. California and has a branch in Basel. after 20 years you may become a performer and please the audience. He established a music school in Calcutta in 1956. the Padma Vibhushan. you may begin to please yourself. Allauddin Khan. Allauddin Khan and Madina Begum. Khan first came to America in 1955 on the invitation of violinist Yehudi Menuhin and later settled in California. and as a teacher. he gave monthly performances on AIR. which is now located in San Rafael. Lucknow and was responsible for solo performances and composing for the radio orchestra. Allauddin was a perfectionist and a strict taskmaster. Finally in 1944.perform publicly on sitar in December 1939 and his debut performance was a jugalbandi (duet) with Ali Akbar Khan. In 1938 Khan gave his first recital on All India Radio (AIR). India) where his father was the primary court musician for the Maharaja of the princely state. who he visited at Shibpur.[3] Khan was nominated for five Grammy Awards and was accorded India's second highest civilian honour. Aftabuddin Khan.[7] Khan also learned to play the tabla and thepakhavaj from his uncle. this was the first of many jugalbandis(duets) between the two musicians. Shankar went to Bombay.[8] During this period he met several prominent musicians. Shankar and Annapurna Devi were married in 1941. to renowned musician and teacher. Switzerland.[5] Soon after his birth. Nabinagar Upazila. after 30 years you may please even your guru. Khan's family returned to Maihar (in present day Madhya Pradesh. Khan was instrumental in popularising Indian classical music in the West. East Bengal). who played the string instrument sarod.[4] He has also won a MacArthur Fellowship and the National Endowment for the Arts's National Heritage Fellowship.[6] From an early age Khan received training from his father in various instruments as well as vocal composition. and starting in January 1940.[6] Of his training on the sarod.[1] He was a Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Music at the University of California. Khan also composed several classical ragas and film scores. was a Hindustani classical musician of the Maihar gharana. known for his virtuosity in playing the sarod. and fellow student Ravi Shankar. he wrote: If you practice for ten years. Three years later. and the Ali Akbar College of Music in 1967. Bombay (accompanied on the tabla by Alla Rakha).

Doordarshan would broadcast a live performance by the shehnai maestro. on 26 January 1950. in 2001. A few recordings of duets with Vilayat Khan also exist. S. However. Subbulakshmi and Ravi Shankar to be accorded this distinction.Khan has participated in a number of classic jugalbandi pairings. Khan is one of the finest musicians in post-independent Indian classical music and one of the best examples of Hindu-Muslim unity in India. He brought the shehnai to the center stage of Indian music with his concert in the Calcutta All India Music Conference in 1937. On his death. a shehnai player attached to Varanasi's Vishwanath Temple. [1] His ancestors were court musicians and used to play in Naqqar khana in the princely states of Bhojpur. most notably with Ravi Shankar. now in Bihar. along with Ravi Shankar.) in Old Delhi. His recital had become a cultural part of India's Independence Day celebrations. as an honour. He also performed raga Kafi from the Red Fort on the eve of India's first Republic Day ceremony. He played the shehnai to audiences across the world. Khan had the rare honor of performing at Delhi's Red Fort on the eve of India's Independence in 1947. becoming the Third classical musician afterM. Alla Rakha and Kamala Chakravarty. telecast on Doordarshanevery year on 15 August. He also collaborated with Western musicians. He was known to be so devoted to his art form that he referred to shehnai as his begum (wife in Urdu) after his wife died. He was known for his vision of spreading peace and love through music. .[2] He received his training under his uncle. Nikhil Banerjee and violinist L. This tradition dated from the days of Pandit Nehru. Bihar. exclaimed "Bismillah!" ("In the name of Allah!") at the sight of him and thereafter he came to be known by this name. Eric Clapton andRingo Starr. Bihar in northern India. His father was a shehnai player in the court of Maharaja Keshav Prasad Singh of Dumraon Estate.[2] Bismillah Khan was born on 21 March 1913 in Dumraon. his grandfather. While the shehnai had long held importance as a folk instrument played primarily during traditional ceremonies. other musicians at the concert included George Harrison.[1][2] He was awarded India's highest civilian honour.[4] Bihar Government has proposed setting up of a museum. often referred to by the honorific title Ustad. Subramaniam. Rasool Bux Khan.استاد بسم اللہ خان صاحب‬21 March 1913 – 21 August 2006). At the age of six. his shehnai was buried with him. He was the second son of Paigambar Khan and Mitthan. He was credited with having almost monopoly over the instrument as he and the shehnai are almost synonyms. Khan is credited with elevating its status and bringing it to the concert stage.[1][10] Bismillah Khan Bismillah Khan (Urdu: ‫ . a town hall-cum-library and installation of a life-size statue at his birthplce in Dumraon. the shehnai master of the court of Bhojpur. A live album and a movie of the event were later released.[5] Bismillah Khan was perhaps single-handedly responsible for making the shehnai a famous classical instrument. was an Indian musician credited with popularising the shehnai. the Bharat Ratna. Bob Dylan. a subcontinental wind instrument of the oboeclass. the late Ali Baksh 'Vilayatu'.[3] His parents had initially named him Qamaruddin to rhyme with their first-born son Shamshuddin. In August 1971. he moved to Varanasi. Khan performed at Madison Square Garden for the Concert for Bangladesh. After the prime minister's speech from Lal Qila (the Red Fort.

Her performance was described as spellbinding and earned her many admirers and the moniker of musical genius from critics. from the devadasi community.G.. The performance consisted of singing bhajans (Hindu hymns). Subbulakshmi gave her first performance at the prestigious Madras Music Academy in 1929. Her grandmother Akkammal was a violinist. was a music exponent and a regular stage performer.S.[5] Subbulakshmi gave her first public performance. Her first movie Sevasadanam was released on 2 May 1938. in the year 1927. with Mysore Chowdiah on the violin and Dakshinamurthy Pillai on the mridangam. Tiruchirappalli. She was the first musician ever to be awarded the Bharat Ratna. opposite Subbulakshmi. Subbulakshmi was giving concerts on her own. She started learning Carnatic music at an early age and trained in Carnatic music under the tutelage of Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer and subsequently in Hindustani music under Pandit Narayanrao Vyas. including major performances at the Madras Music Academy. was a renownedCarnatic vocalist.M.[6] In 1936 Subbulakshmi moved to Madras (now Chennai). directed by K. S. also known as M. Her mother. Subbulakshmi began her Carnatic classical music training under her mother Shanmugavadivu. F. Subbulakshmi became one of the leading Carnatic vocalists. M. Her musical interests were also shaped by regular interactions with Karaikudi Sambasiva Iyer. S.S. and later in Hindustani classical training under Pandit Narayan Rao Vyas. Subbulakshmi as the leading exponent of classical and semi-classical songs in the Karnataka tradition of South India. often considered Asia's Nobel Prize.S.[2] in 1974 with the citation reading "Exacting purists acknowledge Srimati M. Natesa Iyer was the lead actor. Subbulakshmi Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi ( 16 September 1916 – 11 December 2004). It was a critical and commercial success.when she was 13 years old ."[3][4] Subbulakshmi (Kunjamma to her family) was born in Madurai.[7] She also made her film debut in Sevasadan in 1938. in this film. India to veena player Shanmukavadiver Ammal and Subramania Iyer. in the 100 pillar hall inside the Rockfort Temple. Subramanyam.[1] She is the first Indian musician to receive the Ramon Magsaysay award. and they broke tradition by inviting a young girl as a key performer. Subbulakshmi first recording was released when she was 10 years old. Madras Presidency.[12] Ananda Vikatan favourably reviewed the film on 8 May 1938: . also acted in a few Tamil films in her youth. Soon after her debut performances. at the age of eleven. Mazhavarayanendal Subbarama Bhagavathar and Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar. India's highest civilian honour. and Subbulakshmi grew up in an environment very conducive to musical learning.[8] M.[7][10] By the age of seventeen.[9] The academy was known for its discriminating selection process.

He has performed throughout the world. at the age of 15.[1] He plays in the North Indian tradition. born 1 July 1938) is an Indian classicalflautist.[2][4] Much later. for his father wanted him to become a wrestler.[6] . Chaurasia also played on The Beatles' 1968 B-side "The Inner Light". Chaurasia was born in Allahabad in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Cuttack. She only agreed to teach him if he switched from right-handed to left-handed playing (so as to start over free from any pre-existing errement).Hariprasad Chaurasia Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia (Hindi: पणणण्डित हणरिपपरिससाद चचौरिणसयसा. including the fusion group Shakti. including John McLaughlin. But maybe because of the strength and stamina I built up then. He was also the founder of the Vrindavan Gurukul in Mumbai (opened 2006) and Vrindavan Gurukul in Bhubaneshwar (opened 2010). Later. he received guidance from the reclusive Annapurna Devi.[2] His father was a wrestler. forming a group called Shiv-Hari.[3] He has stated. I went there only to please my father. winning acclaim from varied audiences and fellow musicians including Yehudi Menuhin and Jean-Pierre Rampal. and Ken Lauber. although he also started learning music and practising at his friend's house. I was not any good at wrestling. he switched to playing the flute under the tutelage of Pandit Bholanath Prasanna of Varanasi for eight years. Jan Garbarek.Odisha in 1957 and worked as a composer and performer. which was written by George Harrison. Apart from classical music. He had to learn music without his father's knowledge. He has collaborated with world musicians in experimental cross-cultural performances. He did go to the Akhada and train with his father for some time. while working for All India Radio. He serves as the artistic director of the World Music Department at the Rotterdam Music Conservatory in the Netherlands. I'm able to play the bansuri even to this day. he has made a mark as a music director for Indian films along with Shivkumar Sharma. Pandit Rajaram. He joined the All India Radio. He has collaborated with several western musicians. and has composed music for Indian films.[5] In any case Chaurasia plays left-handed to this day. Another version is that she only agreed to teach him after he (of his own) took the decision to switch from right-handed to left-handed playing to show her his commitment. daughter of Baba Allaudin Khan.[citation needed] —Hariprasad Chaurasia Chaurasia started learning vocal music from his neighbor. Both of these institutes are schools dedicated to training students in Hindustani Bansuri in the Guru-shishya tradition. His mother died when he was 6.