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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar is no more

Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, who popularised Indian classical music far beyond its borders, has passed away in a San Diego hospital at the age of 92.

Sitar is a plucked stringed instrument used mainly in Indian classical music, which is believed to have been derived from the ancient Indian instrument Veena and modified by a Mughal court musician to conform with the tastes of his Persian patrons and named after a Persian instrument called the setar (meaning "three strings").  Used widely throughout the Indian subcontinent, the sitar became known in the western world through the work of Ravi Shankarbeginning in the late 1950s and early 1960s after The Kinks' top 10 single "See My Friends" featured a low tuned drone guitar which was widely mistaken to be the instrument.

The Hindu reports that the Sitar maestro had been admitted at the Scripps Memorial Hospital in San Diego on 6 December due to complaints  of diffculty in breathing and he passed away on Tuesday evening. 

While he stormed Western culture with his collaboration with the Beatles, Shankar is perhaps the best known Indian classical musician beyond its  Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar passed in San Diego on Tuesday. He was 92. The legendary musician and composer was India's musical ambassador and a unique phenomenon in the classical music worlds of East and West. He was active as a professional musician till the end and was one of the contenders for the next Grammys.

Ravi Shankar, ( born Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury, 1920 – 2012) is referred to as Pandit Ravi Shankar. He was  born in Varanasi and spent his youth touring Europe and India with the dance group of his brother Uday Shankar. Shankar was awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1999, and received three Grammy Awards. He continued to perform in the 2000s, often with his daughter Anoushka.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
12th Dec 2012.

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