Wormz Obituaries

Ravi Shankar

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Ravi Shankar died aged ninety-two on 11th December photo of Ravi Shankar2012 after receiving heart valve replacement surgery at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, San Diego, California, U.S.A.
Ravi Shankar was married to first wife Annapurna in 1941 and their son, Shubhendra Shankar, was born in 1942. He separated from Annapurna during 1962 and continued a relationship with a dancer, Kamala Shastri, that had begun in the late 1940s.
An affair with Sue Jones, a New York concert producer, led to the birth of Norah Jones in 1979. He separated from Kamala in 1981 and lived with Sue Jones until 1986. An affair with Sukanya Rajan, whom he had known since the 1970s, led to the birth of their daughter Anoushka Shankar in 1981 and in 1989 he married Sukanya Rajan at Chilkur Temple in Hyderabad.
Ravi Shankar was a Hindu, and a devotee of the Hindu deity, Hanuman. As well, he was an "ardent" devotee of the revered Bengali Hindu saint, Sri Anandamayi Ma.
Ravi Shankar was born on 7th April 1920 in Benares, then the capital of the eponymous princely state, to a Bengali family, as the youngest of seven brothers. His father, Shyam Shankar Chowdhury, was a Middle Temple barrister and scholar from East Bengal, now Bangladesh. Shyam later worked as a lawyer in London, England, and there he married a second time while Devi raised Ravi Shankar in Benares, and did not meet his son until he was eight years old. Ravi Shankar shortened the Sanskrit version of his first name, Ravindra, to Ravi.
At the age of ten, after spending his first decade in Benares, Ravi Shankar went to Paris with the dance group of his brother, choreographer Uday Shankar. By the age of thirteen he had become a member of the group, accompanied its members on tour and learned to dance and play various Indian instruments. Uday's dance group toured Europe and the United States in the early to mid-1930s and Ravi Shankar learned French, discovered Western classical music, jazz, cinema and became acquainted with Western customs. Ravi Shankar heard Allauddin Khan – the lead musician at the court of the princely state of Maihar – play at a music conference in December 1934 in Calcutta, and Uday convinced the Maharaja of Maihar in 1935 to allow Allauddin Khan to become his group's soloist for a tour of Europe. Ravi Shankar was sporadically trained by Allauddin Khan on tour, and Allauddin offered Ravi Shankar training to become a serious musician under the condition that he abandon touring and come to Maihar.
Ravi Shankar's parents had died by the time he returned from the European tour, and touring the West had become difficult because of political conflicts that would lead to World War II. Ravi Shankar gave up his dancing career in 1938 to go to Maihar and study Indian classical music as Allauddin Khan's pupil, living with his family in the traditional gurukul system. Allauddin Khan was a rigorous teacher and Ravi Shankar had training on sitar and surbahar, learned ragas and the musical styles dhrupad, dhamar, and khyal, and was taught the techniques of the instruments rudra veena, rubab, and sursingar. He often studied with Khan's children Ali Akbar Khan and Annapurna Devi. Ravi Shankar began to perform publicly on sitar in December 1939 and his debut performance was a jugalbandi with Ali Akbar Khan, who played the string instrument sarod.
Ravi Shankar completed his training in 1944. He moved to Mumbai and joined the Indian People's Theatre Association, for whom he composed music for ballets in 1945 and 1946. Ravi Shankar recomposed the music for the popular song "Sare Jahan Se Achcha" at the age of 25. He began to record music for HMV India and worked as a music director for All India Radio (AIR), New Delhi, from February 1949 to January 1956. Ravi Shankar founded the Indian National Orchestra at AIR and composed for it; in his compositions he combined Western and classical Indian instrumentation. Beginning in the mid-1950s he composed the music for the Apu Trilogy by Satyajit Ray, which became internationally acclaimed. He was music director for several Hindi movies including Godaan and Anuradha.
V. K. Narayana Menon, director of AIR Delhi, introduced the Western violinist Yehudi Menuhin to Ravi Shankar during Menuhin's first visit to India in 1952. Ravi Shankar had performed as part of a cultural delegation in the Soviet Union in 1954 and Menuhin invited Ravi Shankar in 1955 to perform in New York City for a demonstration of Indian classical music, sponsored by the Ford Foundation.
Ravi Shankar heard about the positive response Allauddin Khan received and resigned from AIR in 1956 to tour the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States. He played for smaller audiences and educated them about Indian music, incorporating ragas from the South Indian Carnatic music in his performances, and recorded his first LP album Three Ragas in London, released in 1956. In 1958, Ravi Shankar participated in the celebrations of the tenth anniversary of the United Nations and UNESCO music festival in Paris. From 1961, he toured Europe, the United States, and Australia, and became the first Indian to compose music for non-Indian films. Ravi Shankar founded the Kinnara School of Music in Mumbai in 1962.
Ravi Shankar befriended Richard Bock, founder of World Pacific Records, on his first American tour and recorded most of his albums in the 1950s and 1960s for Bock's label. The Byrds recorded at the same studio and heard Ravi Shankar's music, which led them to incorporate some of its elements in theirs, introducing the genre to their friend George Harrison of the Beatles.
In 1967, Ravi Shankar performed a well-received set at the Monterey Pop Festival. While complimentary of the talents of several of the rock artists at the festival, he said he was "horrified" to see Jimi Hendrix set fire to his guitar on stage: "That was too much for me. In our culture, we have such respect for musical instruments, they are like part of God." Ravi Shankar's live album from Monterey peaked at number 43 on Billboard's pop LPs chart in the US, which remains the highest placing he achieved on that chart.
Ravi Shankar won a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance for West Meets East, a collaboration with Yehudi Menuhin. He opened a Western branch of the Kinnara School of Music in Los Angeles, in May 1967, and published an autobiography, My Music, My Life, in 1image of Ravi Shankar968. Also in 1968, he composed the score for the film Charly. Ravi performed at the famous Woodstock Festival in August 1969.
In his later years, Ravi Shankar became a vegetarian. He wore a large diamond ring which he said was "manifested" by Sathya Sai Baba. He lived in Encinitas, California, U.S.A. Ravi Shankar performed his final concert, with daughter Anoushka, on 4th November 2012 at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach, California.

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music:'Raga Bhatiyar' by Ravi Shankar