Sitar is a Indian classical musical instrument, part of lute family of stringed instruments

Ravi Shankar Tribute  7 April 1920 – 11 December 2012

ravi shankar famous sitar player

Legendary Grammy-Award winning Indian musician Ravi Shankar passed away on Dec. 11, 2012 at the age of 92 near his home in Encinitas, California, and with his death, came an end to some of the most remarkably beautiful Indian music of the last 100 or more years. Shankar, known by some by his esteemed title'Pandit', as has been heralded as one of the best-known and loved Indian composers and musicians of his time.

Shankar got his start in music as a youth, touring throughout European countries. He danced and played music during this time, and it was not long until he began to learn how to play the sitar from one of India’s greatest court musicians, Allauddin Khan. Shankar’s popularity continued to grow throughout the decades, as he toured throughout the world and mesmerized audiences with his sitar playing and musical aptitude. 

Shankar was awarded the United State’s music industry’s highest award – a Grammy Award – three times in his lifetime, as well as Indian’s highest honor for lay people, called the Bharat Ratna.

Shankar spent the 2001-2012 working on music and touring with his daughter, Anoushka, who is a musician on her own rite. She wrote a book about her father in 2002 and continued to play with her father up until just about a month before a died in a California hospital after suffering from heart problems and respiratory complications for about a year before his death. 

Shankar’s final concert was on November 4, 2012, in Long Beach, California, at the famous Terrace Theater. Upon learning of Shankar’s death, people from around the world mourned the musical great. Among those offering public condolences were members of India’s parliament as well as the president of the country, Pranab Mukherjee.

Shankar certainly will be missed and cannot be replaced. His mark on Indian music, as well as world music, is unmatched, as are his impressive skills on the sitar. His beautiful music will continue swirling through the ears of all who loved him and all who loved his music for generations to come. Shankar is an inspiration not only to his fellow Indians but to musicians and music-hopefuls throughout the world who will study his music and his compositions for decades to come. Ravi Shankar communicated to the world the rich, deep gifts of India's culture through his haunting, beautiful music.