Pandit Ravi Shankar, sitar maestro, passes away in California
Dec 12, 2012http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pandit-Ravi-Shankar-sitar-maestro-passes-away-in-California/articleshow/17581097.cms?
NEW DELHI: Legendary musician Pandit Ravi Shankar passed away in San Diego, California in the United States on Tuesday evening.
The sitar maestro had been admitted at the Scripps Memorial Hospital on December 6.
He breathed his last at 4.30 p.m.
The sitar maestro, aged 92, had been under treatment for last one week. He was hospitalised last Thursday after he complained of breathing difficulties.
The Prime Minister's office confirmed his death and called him a "national treasure."
For nearly three decades, ever since his first tour of the United Statesand Europe in the 1956-57 season, Ravi Shankar has served as India's unofficial ambassador for music.
The music doyen was awarded India's highest civilian honour, theBharat Ratna in 1999. He also received three Grammy Awards.
He had collaborated with several international artists including George Harrison of 'The Beatles', which had garnered him fame all over the world.
He was active as a professional musician till the end and was one of the contenders for the next Grammys.
Panditji is survived by his wife Sukanya and musician daughters, sitar player Anushka Shankar and singer Norah Jones.
Ravi Shankar was born as Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury on April 7, 1920 and was referred by the title Pandit.
Shankar was born in Varanasi and spent his youth touring Europe and India 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 by Satyajit Ray, and was music director of All India Radio, New Delhi, from 1949 to 1956.
In 1956, he began to tour Europe and America playing Indian classical music and increased its popularity there through teaching, performance, and his association with violinist Yehudi Menuhin and George Harrison.