1920-2012  

Legendary virtuoso sitarist, composer, teacher, and writer Ravi Shankar is India's most esteemed musical ambassador and a singular phenomenon whose artistry crosses all cultural and musical boundaries. A student of the illustrious guru “Baba” Ustad Allaudin Khan, Mr. Shankar was already one of the brightest stars in India before coming to international attention in the 60’s. Since then, he has been the foremost pioneer in disseminating India’s rich classical music tradition to the West.

The youngest son of a Bengali family, Ravi Shankar was born in 1920 in Varansi (Benares), the holiest of Indian cities. At the age of 10, he accompanied elder brother Uday Shankar and his company of dancers and musicians to Paris, where the younger Shankar attended school. He spent several years in the West absorbing different kinds of music before returning to India in 1938 to begin his career. He combined his concert performances with his work for All India Radio (1949–56) where he established the National Chamber Orchestra. As word of his virtuosity spread throughout India, then Europe, Asia and the United States, Mr. Shankar embarked on the most extraordinary international careers in the history of contemporary music ... read full bio