12 December 2012 :: Noted Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar passed away in San Diego on Tuesday. He was 92. He was admitted to the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla last Thursday after he complained of breathing difficulties. He breathed his last at 4.30 p.m. Pacific Time. He is survived by his wife Sukanya and daughters Anoushka and Norah Jones.
Shankar was born on 7th April 1920 in Varanasi to a Bengali Brahmin family as the youngest of seven brothers. Shankar’s Bengali birth name was Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury.
The legendary musician and composer was a unique phenomenon in the classical music worlds of East and West. He was well known for his pioneering work in bringing Indian music to the West. For nearly three decades, ever since his first tour of the United States and Europe in the 1956-57 season, Ravi Shankar has served as India’s unofficial ambassador for music. The music doyen was awarded India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna in 1999. He also received three Grammy Awards. He was active as a professional musician till the end. He received three Grammy awards and was one of the contenders for the next Grammys. He was competing against daughter Anoushka Shankar, also a sitar player, for another Grammy in 2013.