Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Ghazipur - Star __pandit Ravi Shankar

“The word ’improvisation’ to me means to never  stop” - Pandit Ravi Shankar

Ghazipur produces many stars in different fields of life,but never respect them.Its a fact.One of them was Pandit Ravi Shankar,a living legend in field of music,a genius Sitar player.
Born on 7th April, 1920 in District Ghazipur 80 km away from Banaras, his family was a Bengali Brahmin family who named him Ravindra Shankar. Shyam Shankar, his father migrated to Varanasi ,was a barrister. He had an elder brother Uday Shankar who was a famous Indian classical dancer. Uday Shankar was also born in Ghazipur nt else .
                                                           Uday Shankar With Wife
In his younger years, Ravi played Sitar the dance troupe of Uday Shankar, especially with Anna Pavlova. In 1938, he studied under his guru, Allaudin Khan. The dedication and determination shows in the fact that Ravi Shankar's career span extends over six decades and has been recorded in the Guinness World Record as the longest international career. An account of his fascinating life history is given here as the biography of Pt. Ravi Shankar.
In the year 1939, Ravi Shankar gave his first public performance in India. His formal training concluded in the year 1944 and he moved out of Bombay. He then started a recording career with HMV's Indian affiliate and began by composing scores for films and ballets. In the 50's he became the music director of All India Radio. It was during the 50's that he became famous in the world of music outside India. He performed in Soviet Union (1953) and the West (1956). He has performed in prestigious events like Edinburgh Festival and also at important places like Royal Festival Hall, London.

In the year 1965, George Harrison, a member of the band The Beatles began experimenting with the Sitar. Consequently, the two musicians met and their interest in the Sitar made them really good friends. Ravi Shankar's career got instant boost as he came to be known as Harrison's mentor. He got many opportunities to showcase his skill as a classical musician in events like Monterey Pop Festival, California (1967) along with the tabla maestro Ustad Allah Rakha. Ravi Shankar also performed an opening act during George Harrison's U.S tour in the year 1974. George Harrison fondly calls him the Godfather of World Music.

Ravi Shankar has composed two symphony masterpieces for Sitar and orchestra; Violin and Sitar composition for Yehudi Menuhin. He has also composed music for flute maestro Jean Pierre Rampal, Japanese flute player Hozan Yamamoto and Koto (Japanese stringed instrument) player Musumi Miyashita.

He has composed the musical score for movies like Charly, Chappaqua, Apu Trilogy and Gandhi. He even got nominated for an Academy Award for his composition in this movie. His recording named "Tana Mana" (1987) skillfully infuses the traditional instruments with electronics. He also composed the Sitar part in Philip Glass's composition "Orion".

Shankar married
Allauddin Khan's daughter Annapurna Devi in 1941 and a son, Shubhendra Shankar, was born in 1942. Shankar separated from Devi during the 1940s and had a relationship with Kamala Shastri, a dancer, beginning in the late 1940s. An affair with Sue Jones, a New York concert producer, led to the birth of Norah Jones in 1979. In 1981, Anoushka Shankar was born to Shankar and Sukanya Rajan, whom Shankar had known since the 1970s. After separating from Kamala Shastri in 1981, Shankar lived with Sue Jones until 1986. He married Sukanya Rajan in 1989.
Shubhendra "Shubho" Shankar often accompanied his father on tours.He could play the sitar and surbahar, but elected not to pursue a solo career and died in 1992 .Norah Jones became a successful musician in the 2000s, winning eight Grammy Awards in 2003.Anoushka Shankar was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best World Music Album in 2003. Anoushka and her father were nominated for Best World Music Album at the 2013 Grammy Awards for separate albums.
Ravi Shankar has two daughters who are talented musicians themselves. Anuoshka Shankar is a famous Sitar player like her father and has won many awards. She has her own recordings and also performs frequently with her father. His other daughter is Norah Jones who is an acclaimed singer in the international arena. She has won many Grammy awards and her records sell like hot cakes. Ravi Shankar has really contributed to not just Indian music but has also made sure that music lovers here get to listen to world music as well.
"Ravi Shankar did not venture into fusion because he was needed to establish Indian music and make people of the west understand what it was all about. That was the immense contribution of artists of his time — to lay the foundation, the platform upon which artists like me can bounce other things, and even cross over, because today our identity is set and we can innovate but we will never lose that base."
 - Ustad Zakir Hussain

"As far as Ravi Shankar is concerned, my greatest admiration for him stems from the fact that here is a man who had no gharana to talk about. His father was not a musician, his guru’s father was not a musician. On top of that his guru was a sarod player. Look at the odds he beat to become the extraordinary musician he became. His contribution in putting Indian classical music on the map is so obvious and so well documented that I’m surprised when I hear any one saying to the contrary. He is truly a self made musician and he deserves every accolade that has come his way."

- Ustad Amjad Ali Khan

"Pandit Ravi Shankar is an amazing man. He is so bright intellectually that if he hadn’t been a musician may be he would have been a space scientist. He learnt from a guru who was very demanding, very intense but Ravi ji was able to learn everything very quickly. Ravi ji has always been a pioneer, a man who has been way ahead of his times in anything he does."

- Pandit Rajeev Taranath

"I only have to mention the Beatles, John Coltrane and countless other who have learnt from him and benefited from his teaching. I certainly count myself among those whose musical bearing was forever changed by him."

- Phillip Glass

Ravi Shankar’s musical mind is incredible. It is like a volcano of energy and infinite possibility- ready to move at any time in any direction, and yet with the poise and balance of a composer like Mozart. Ravi Shankar has taught me much about the power of music. Perhaps most importantly in this age of technology I have learnt an appreciation of music’s universal context, its magical, non-materialistic power drawn from ancient roots deep within the human psyche.

- David Murphy

Ravi Shankar has brought me a precious gift. Through him I have added a new dimension to my experience of music - one which belongs to all great music, including our own, but which, along with so much that should remain inspired and intuitive, is blueprinted out of our world.

- Yehudi Menuhin

"I think Raviji has grown so tremendously as a musician. His music was always amazing. He has so much more to offer today. His music is so colorful and multidimensional. It is because his life has been so multidimensional if you see his journey. Uprooted from Benaras to Paris to all over the world, the emotional ups and downs, the pain in his life, it has all enhanced and enriched his work tremendously."

- Sukanya Shankar

1 comment:

  1. Very good and informative compilation with photographs. Thanks