Ravi Shankar

Markgoff2972, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0&gt;, via Wikimedia Commons

Indian Sitar Player and Composer • April 7, 1920 – December 11, 2012 • North Indian Classical

Fast Facts

  • Ravi Shankar is known as The Godfather of World Music.
  • He began his performing career at age 10, touring Europe with his brother’s dance troupe.
  • At age 18, Shankar chose to return to India and spent the next seven years learning to play the sitar.
  • Shankar was a strong proponent of North Indian classical music, but was also known for composing concertos, ballads, film scores, and ragas.
  • He is the father of Anoushka Shankar and Norah Jones, who are both accomplished performers and composers.
  • He gained international popularity after teaching and inspiring George Harrison of The Beatles.
  • Ravi Shankar founded the National Orchestra of India.
  • He served as the music director of All-India Radio for eight years prior to beginning his European and American tours.
  • During his time at All-India Radio, Shankar began composing works that combined traditional Indian instruments with instruments of the western classical orchestra.
  • Shankar was the recipient of four Grammy Awards as well as the organization’s Lifetime Achievement award.