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Legendary sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar died on Wednesday morning IST in San Diego in the United States at the age of 92 years. Pandit Ravi Shankar was in the US with his family for a surgery.
A three-time Grammy award winner, Pandit Ravi Shankar was nominated for a Grammy award for 2013 too. Reacting to the news, Kathak dancer Sovana Narayan said, "He was an amazing artist, a very humble person. He brought sitar to a new level."
India's ambassador to US Nirupama Rao tweeted, "Pandit Ravi Shankar. Mourn passing of a musical genius and gentle soul. Attended his last concert Nov in Calif. He played with such passion."
Ravi Shankar was born Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury on April 7, 1920 in Varanasi. He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha from 1986 to 1992. He was awarded Bharat Ratna in 1999.
He created music for Apu Trilogy by Satyajit Ray and was the music director of All India Radio from 1949 to 1956.
Pandit Ravi Shankar has two daughters who are talented musicians themselves. Anoushka Shankar is a famous Sitar player like her father and has won many awards. His other daughter is Norah Jones who is an acclaimed singer in the international arena. He toured Europe with his brother's dance troupe and at the age of 18 he began to learn how to play the sitar from his guru Baba Allauddin Khan. 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.
It was during the 50s that he became famous in the world of music outside India. He performed in Soviet Union (1953) and the West (1956). He has performed at prestigious events like the Edinburgh Festival and also at important places like Royal Festival Hall, London.
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