- Title: INDIA: Indian musicians mourn Ravi Shankar
- Date: 12th December 2012
- Summary: NEW DELHI, INDIA (DECEMBER 12, 2012) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF RAVI SHANKAR INSTITUTE FOR MUSIC AND PERFORMING ARTS (RIMPA) A BOARD READING 'RIMPA THE RAVI SHANKAR CENTRE-PEACE THROUGH MUSIC' STUDENTS OF SHANKAR'S MUSIC ACADEMY WALKING TO PAY TRIBUTE TO A PHOTOGRAPH OF HIM FLOWERS PLACED BEFORE SHANKAR'S GARLANDED PHOTOGRAPH STUDENTS PAYING FLORAL TRIBUTES TO SHANKAR (SOUNDBITE) (English) INDIAN CLASSICAL SINGER, SHANTI HIRANAND, SAYING: "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." A BOARD READING 'SANGEET NATAK AKADEMI' (ACADEMY OF MUSIC AND THEATRE)
- Embargoed: 27th December 2012 22:14
- Location: India
- Country: India
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Music
- Reuters ID: LVA2T7DLVZCE18QRWUS1NAQ8TG8H
- Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Story Text: Indian music luminaries on Wednesday (December 12) paid tribute to the man of helped introduce the sitar to the western world, Beatles-collaborater Ravi Shankar who has died aged 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.
Indian classical singer Shanti Hiranand said Shankar's music had a spellbinding effect and that 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, " Hiranand said.
Shankar is credited with popularizing Indian music through his work with violinist Yehudi Menuhin and The Beatles in the late 1960s, inspiring George Harrison to learn the sitar and the British band to record songs like "Norwegian Wood" (1965) and "Within You, Without You" (1967).
Harrison once described Shankar as "the godfather of world music", and their friendship led to Shankar performing at the Monterey and Woodstock pop festivals in the late 1960s, and the 1972 Concert for Bangladesh, becoming one of the first Indian musicians to become a household name in the West.
Shankar split his time between the United States and India where he built an ashram-style home and music center where students could live and learn, and later the Ravi Shankar Center in Delhi in 2001, which hosts an annual music festival.
An Indian classical music student, Pooja Goswami, said that music lovers in US referred to Shankar as 'God' and added that it was the time to celebrate his life, not death.
"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," she said.
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.
His influence in classical music, including on composer Philip Glass, was just as large. Shankar's work with Menuhin on their
"West Meets East" albums in the 1960s and 1970s earned them a Grammy, and he wrote concertos for sitar and orchestra for both the London Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.
One of Shankar's long time pupils, Parimal Sadaphal said that position and aura is unmatched and credited him for having popularised Indian music in the West.
"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," he said.
Shankar served as a member of the upper chamber of the Parliament of India, from 1986 to 1992, after being nominated by then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
Indian classical dancer Pandit Birju Maharaj said he was deeply saddened by Shankar's death.
"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," said Pandit Birju Maharaj in New Delhi.
Shankar performed his last concert with his daughter Anoushka on November 4 in Long Beach, California.
The night before he underwent surgery, he was nominated for a Grammy for his latest album "The Living Room Sessions, Part 1."
He is survived by his daughter, Grammy-winning singer Norah Jones, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
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