PANDIT RAVI SHANKAR
Mumbai/New Delhi, Dec. 12 (ANI): Indian music luminaries paid tributes to ‘godfather of world music’ and Grammy winning composer Ravi Shankar, who helped introduce the sitar to the Western world through his collaborations with The Beatles.
Shankar died in Southern California on Tuesday (December 11), his family said. He was 92.
A three-time Grammy winner with legendary appearances at the 1967 Monterey Festival and at Woodstock, Shankar had been in fragile health for several years and last Thursday underwent surgery, his family said in a statement.
Shankar had suffered from upper respiratory and heart issues over the past year and underwent heart-valve replacement surgery last week at a hospital in San Diego, south of Los Angeles. The surgery was successful but he was unable to recover and passed away on Tuesday evening (US time).
The surgery was successful, but he was unable to recover.
Some of the leading exponents of the classical Indian art forms mourned his death.
Indian classical singer and Ravi Shankar’s contemporary, Shanti Hiranand said his music had a spellbinding effect, one could almost feel like being hit by a thunderbolt while listening to him.
“Ravi Shankar, I met many a times. In fact, his first recording in US is with me, first concert, which he did in US as a young man. He was a great artist, I mean he took sitar to the world and today that sitar is being played all over the world is all because of him.”
He was described as “the godfather of world music” by George Harrison, the Beatles’’ lead guitarist.
Even though he was a legend in the Western world, he was always drawn back to the revered traditions of the sitar.
Indian classical music student, Pooja Goswami, said: “These kind of souls are not human beings, we call them ‘gandharv’ (distinguished musicians) in Indian music. So, he was gandharv, his body and soul was full of music in everything, not only in sitar, rhythm and dance.”
A long time disciple of the sitar maestro, Parimal Sadaphal said: “The purity, sweetness and innovation in his music that we have seen over the years, his legacy will continue. Even if we keep trying, it is difficult to reach his level.”
Saddened over the demise, legendary classical dancer, Pandit Birju Maharaj said: “I am deeply saddened and in pain. Pain is a small word, he was an undying personality. He was the kind of a person, who made the world familiar with sitar, raag and taal (classical Indian musical notations). He used to get completely engrossed while playing sitar and the glimpse of the notations were reflected on his face.”
Shankar performed his last concert with his daughter Anoushka on November 4 in Long Beach, California, the statement said. The night before he underwent surgery, he was nominated for a Grammy for his latest album “The Living Room Sessions, Part 1.”
His family said that memorial plans would be announced at a later date and requested that donations be made to the Ravi Shankar Foundation. (ANI)
Kuala Lumpur, Dec 13 (ANI): Indian sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar is set to receive a posthumous lifetime achievement Grammy award, organizers announced on Wednesday.
Three-time Grammy winner Shankar, who died Tuesday in California, is among seven artists including Carole King and the Temptations named as Grammys Lifetime Achievement Award honorees, the Star Online reported.
“He was selected before his death and notified last week he was receiving the honor,” a Grammys spokeswoman, Stephanie Schell, said.
“As one of the world’s most renowned sitar players, (Shankar) is a true ambassador for international music,” the Recording Academy said in its brief biography of the Indian musician, alongside those of the other honorees.
“As a performer, composer, teacher and writer, he is considered a pioneer in bringing Indian music to the West,” it added.
Shankar died Tuesday in southern California at the age of 92, after failing to recover from surgery at a hospital in La Jolla, near San Diego last week. (ANI)
New Delhi, Dec. 12 (ANI): Sitar became synonymous with Grammy winning composer Ravi Shankar, said his Indian instrument maker Sanjay Sharma, who crafted customized sitars on the former’s request.
Ravi Shankar, who helped introduce the sitar to the Western world through his collaborations with The Beatles, died in Southern California on Tuesday. He was 92.
Saddened on hearing of Shankar’s death, Sharma said: “He was our God and you can understand how it feels when the God leaves us alone. He is globally famous in the music industry, not even a single person exists who does not know him. The name, which strikes in somebody’s mind after looking at a sitar, was Pandit Ravi Shankar. His loss is irreplaceable, for us we have lost our God.”
Shankar had introduced sitar to the Western world through his collaborations with The Beatles.
Ravi Shankar had also been nominated for the 2013 Grammys for his album “The Living Room Sessions Part 1” and was pitted against his daughter Anoushka in the same category.
He was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’’s highest civilian honour, in 1999.
Sharma said with age, the maestro’s sitar were getting smaller and lighter in size, as he used to find it difficult to handle them.
“When we used to make special sitar for him, it was automatically known as Pandit Ravi Shankar style sitar. His sitar had its own melodious tone and was of totally different in comparison to other sitars,” said Sharma.
Sharma said that three generations of his family were associated with Pandit Ravi Shankar and the last sitar, which he crafted, had an internal microphone in the instrument.
Sharma had also crafted a small sitar with a stand, which the maestro could play comfortably while sitting on sofa.
Sharma’s son, who was also learning sitar from Ravi Shankar, Rishabh Sharma said it was a sad moment for him.
“This is a sad moment for me because last time when I met him. He told me that if he is reborn as a human being, he will definitely teach me sitar,” said Rishabh Sharma.