Sitarist Ravi Shankar dies aged 92

Pandit Ravi Shankar, the virtuoso sitar maestro who introduced Indian classical music to the world and inspired the Sixties 'psychedelic' sound through his collaboration with the Beatles, has died. He was 92.

The legendary musician passed away in San Diego where he was recovering from an operation last week.
His widow Sukanya and daughter Anoushka, his sitar protégée, said he had been too frail to withstand the strain of surgery.

"It is with heavy hearts we write to inform you that Pandit Ravi Shankar, husband, father, and musical soul, passed away today.

"We know that you all feel our loss with us, and we thank you for all of your prayers and good wishes through this difficult time. Although it is a time for sorrow and sadness, it is also a time for all of us to give thanks and to be grateful that we were able to have him as a part of our lives. His spirit and his legacy will live on forever in our hearts and in his music," they said in a joint statement.

The sitar ustad or master had continued to perform, usually with his glamorous daughter Anoushka, who is a bestselling musician in her own right, and he gave his last concert just five weeks ago. His other daughter from a previous relationship is the American folk soul singer Nora Jones.

Pandit Shankar's passing was mourned by the Indian prime minister, Dr Manmohan Singh who said he was a "national treasure and global ambassador of India's cultural heritage."

His death marked the passing of an era. "The nation joins me to pay tributes to his unsurpassable genius, his art and his humility," he added.

A.R Rahman, the Grammy-winning composer, said "Indian Classical Music has lost its chief ambassador … May God bless his soul."

Although he remained hugely popular and admired in India, where he continued to give free concerts, his legacy is the export of Indian classical music to the West through his collaborations with Yehudi Menuhin and the Beatles, through whom he inspired the 1960s psychedelic sound.

- Telegraph.co.uk


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!