Ravi Shankar


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Shankar, Ravi

(Robindra Shankar Chowdhury), 1920–2012, Indian sitarist and composer, b. Varanasi. He was the first Indian instrumentalist to attain an international reputation and is credited with introducing traditional Indian music to the West. As a youth Shankar was a noted solo dancer with his brother Uday's Indian dance troupe in Paris, and he studied (1938–45) with the instrumentalist Ustad Allauddin Khan, whose daughter, Annapurna, he later married. Proficient on many instruments, Shankar became a virtuoso of the sitarsitar
, fretted string instrument with a gourdlike body and a long neck, similar to the lute. It has from 3 to 7 gut strings, tuned in fourths or fifths (or both), and a lower course of 12 wire strings that vibrate sympathetically with the first set.
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, and in 1957 he made the first of several concert tours of the United States. In 1962 he founded the Kinnara School of Music in Mumbai. George Harrison of the BeatlesBeatles, The,
English rock music group formed in the late 1950s and disbanded in 1970. The members were John (Winston) Lennon, 1940–80, guitar and harmonica; (James) Paul McCartney, 1942–, guitar and piano; George Harrison,
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 studied (1965) sitar with Shankar, and the band's recordings began featuring the instrument. Other rock groups followed suit, and for a time the sitar was a rock instrument. As the foremost sitar player, Shankar was catapulted to fame. His 1967 concert tour of the United States was a great success, and he was invited to hold classes at U.S. colleges and universities.

From the 1980s on Shankar also explored the possibilities of merging Indian music with electronic synthesizer and emulator technology. Among Shankar's many compositions are the scores for the motion pictures Pather Panchali (1954), Charly (1968), and Gandhi (1982) as well as ballets and concerti for sitar and orchestra. He collaborated with such musicians as violinist Yehudi MenuhinMenuhin, Yehudi
, 1916–99, British violinist and conductor, b. New York City. Menuhin, an extraordinary prodigy, began playing the violin at four. He made his debut with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra at seven, then studied in Europe with Adolf Busch and Georges
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 and jazz saxophonist John ColtraneColtrane, John
, 1926–67, American jazz musician, b. Hamlet, N.C. He began playing tenor saxophone as an adolescent. Coltrane worked with numerous big bands before emerging in the mid-1950s as a major stylist while playing as a sideman with Miles Davis.
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 and also with composer Philip GlassGlass, Philip,
1937–, American composer, b. Baltimore. Considered one of the most innovative of contemporary composers, he was a significant figure in the development of minimalism in music. Glass attended the Univ. of Chicago, Juilliard (M.A.
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 on the electronic recording Passages (1990). Shankar also served (1986–92) in India's parliament. His daughter, Anoushka Shankar, 1981–, who studied with him, also is a virtuoso sitarist.

Bibliography

See his autobiographies (1969 and 1997); biography (2002) by A. Shankar (his daughter); D. Ghosh, ed., The Great Shankars: Uday, Ravi (1983); John Musilli, dir., Ravi Shankar and Friends (documentary, 1976).

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References in periodicals archive ?
Patna: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has sought votes for Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, the BJP candidate from the Patna Sahib Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar, in the name of Ram temple and Triple Talaq.
The Jammu and Kashmir Muslim Conference in a statement objected to the visit of Sri Ravi Shankar to Kashmir saying that Kashmiris were astonished to know as to how saints like Sri had fallen in the deceitful trap of Indian authorities.
Ravi Shankar, commonly known as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, was born on 13 May 1956.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's vision of a violence-free, stress-free society through the reawakening of human values has inspired millions to broaden their spheres of responsibility and work towards the betterment of the world.
Described as the "legend of legends" by Shivkumar Sharma, a noted santoor player, Ravi Shankar played a valuable role in universalizing music of the subcontinent to the world through the instrument of sitar.
Sitarist and composer 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.
"The demise of Ravi Shankar", Sri Lankan President said, "a loss of a great Indian of our times, who has left behind a legacy of music that will outlive him with the memories of his contribution to its enrichment."
David Crosby - whose band The Byrds were inspired by the sitar star - said: "Any player on any instrument with any ears would be deeply moved by Ravi Shankar. If you love music, it would be impossible not to be."
CUSTOMER: Khaliqur Choudhury, also right, with Ravi Shankar when he visited his restaurant Kismet on Bold Street in 1987