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Ravi Shankar Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (13) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 7 April 1920Benares, United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, British India [now Uttar Pradesh, India]
Date of Death 11 December 2012La Jolla, San Diego, California, USA  (respiratory failure)
Birth NameRobindra Shankar Chowdhury

Mini Bio (1)

Ravi Shankar was a world-renowned musician, composer, performer, and scholar of classical Indian music. He was one of the leading cultural figures of the twentieth century whose accomplishments placed him as the leading figure of an important musical tradition. His long and distinguished musical career included numerous recordings, performances at all the world's leading venues, and a series of unprecedented collaborations with other leading musicians. Although he is well known because of his interaction with the popular music world, it is important to underscore that Shankar is considered the leading international figure in a very elevated art form, Hindustani music. Shankar was born on April 7, 1920, in Varanasi, India. He moved to Paris in 1930, and received most of his education there. From the age of 12, he performed as a musician and dancer on tour in Europe and America with his brother Uday Shankar, and in 1939 had his first concert as soloist at a music conference in Allahabad. By 1945 Shankar's reputation as the leading performer of traditional Hindustani music on the sitar had coalesced. He began to branch out as a composer, writing music for ballet and for important films such as such as Dharti Ke Lal and Neecha Nagar. He also composed the song Sare Jahan Se Accha, which is one of the most widely known piece of music in India. In 1949, Shankar became Music Director of All-India Radio at Delhi, and founded the Vadya Vrinda Chamber Orchestra. During the years 1950-55 Shankar composed some of his most famous music, most notably in the internationally-acclaimed film studios of Calcutta, where he scored The Ray Triology. For his outstanding contribution to Indian music and culture, he received his first of five Presidential Awards in 1962, India's highest honor in the arts. In the mid-1960s, his preeminence as one of the world's leading serious musicians was augmented with wide popular success. George Harrison of The Beatles developed a deep, abiding interest in Hindustani music, and began to study with Shankar. One influence of this study can be heard in his song Within You, Without You. Shankar died in San Diego, California in 2012 at the age of 92.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: <UCSD bio>

Spouse (2)

Sukanya Ranjan (1988 - 11 December 2012) (his death) (1 child)
Roshanara "Annapurna" Khan (1941 - 1961) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (13)

Currently a Regents Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego.
Taught George Harrison of the Beatles how to play the sitar, an instrument on which he is considered an expert player.
Awarded the Polar Music Prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Music Award, in 1998.
Father of musician Norah Jones and Anoushka Shankar.
Began his performing career as a dancer, and was taught his sitar exercises by his teacher's singing them; the teacher could not play the instrument.
Appreciated the increased attention his music received in the psychedelic era (particularly through his association with George Harrison), but found the frequent drug use of his listeners distasteful; Shankar would sometimes cut performances short, or actually stop the music and admonish the audience if wafting smoke or noises interfered with the musicians' playing. In time, his audiences cleaned up, which pleased Shankar greatly.
Had a relationship with dancer Kamala Shastri from the late '40s until 1981 when he left her to be with Sue Jones, the mother of his daughter Norah Jones.
Knew second wife Sukanya Rajan since the '70s.
Daughter Norah Jones, born in 1979, was from a relationship with Sue Jones, a New York concert producer. After fathering his daughter Anoushka Shankar with Sukanya Rajan in 1981, Shankar lived with Sue Jones until 1986 when he returned to Rajan and eventually married her.
Has a son Shubhendra Shankar, born in 1942, with his first wife Annapurna Devi.
Approached George Harrison in the summer of 1971 with news about the civil war in Bangladesh (then part of Pakistan), and asked Harrison's help in promoting a benefit concert to aid war refugees who had fled to India; Shankar had hoped to raise $10,000. The resulting The Concert for Bangladesh (1972) raised more than a hundred times that amount, but most of the money was held in escrow, due to an IRS tax investigation, until nearly a decade later.
Younger brother of Late Uday Shankar.
Uncle of Late Ananda Shankar and Mamata Shankar.

Personal Quotes (1)

[to enthusiastic fans who mistakenly applauded during the preliminary warmup] If you like our tuning so much, I hope you will enjoy the playing even more.

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