Sitarist & Composer Ravi Shankar Dies at 92

Sitarist & Composer Ravi Shankar Dies at 92

Ravi Shankar, the renowned Indian composer and sitarist has passed away at the age of 92. The musician shot to international stardom in 1965 when Beatle George Harrison studied under him. Shankar received an Oscar nomination in 1982 for his score for the biopic film 'Gandhi.' 

The Ravi Shankar Foundation has issued an official statement on their web site:

It is with great sadness that the Ravi Shankar Foundation and East Meets West Music report
the death of maestro Ravi Shankar on December 11, 2012, near his home in southern California. Born on April 7, 1920, Shankar is an iconic figure whose influence on music and the way we hear music can hardly be overstated. Shankar had suffered from upper-respiratory and heart issues over the past year and underwent heart-valve replacement surgery last Thursday. Though the surgery was successful, recovery proved too difficult for the 92-year-old musician. In recent months, performing, and especially touring, became increasingly difficult for the musician.

Other collaborators over the decades included flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal and jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane, who named his son Ravi.

However, health couldn't prevent Shankar from performing with his daughter, sitarist Anoushka Shankar, on November 4 in Long Beach, California. This, in what was to be his final public performance, was in fact billed as a celebration of his tenth decade of creating music. This need of Shankar's to constantly be moving forward and creating was present even in the final years of his life as he embarked on establishing his own recording label, East Meets West Music. The album The Living Room Sessions, Part 1 has received a 2013 Grammy nomination, news of which reached Shankar the night prior to his surgery. In a review of the record, Songlines magazine stated that the master has lost "absolutely nothing in the way of musical virtuosity, technical brilliance and the kind of highenergy passion that belongs in concert performances."

Ravi Shankar maintained residences in both India and the United States. He is survived by his wife Sukanya; daughter Norah Jones; daughter Anoushka Shankar Wright and husband Joe Wright; 3 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren.

Memorial plans will be announced. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Ravi Shankar Foundation. Donations can be made online at JustGive.org.

SHANKAR FAMILY STATEMENT

It is with heavy hearts we write to inform you that Pandit Ravi Shankar, husband, father, and musical soul, passed away today, December 11th, 2012.

As you all know, his health has been fragile for the past several years and on Thursday he underwent a surgery that could have potentially given him a new lease of life. Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the surgeons and doctors taking care of him, his body was not able to withstand the strain of the surgery. We were at his side when he passed away.

We know that you all feel our loss with us, and we thank you for all of your prayers and good wishes through this difficult time. Although it is a time for sorrow and sadness, it is also a time for all of us to give thanks and to be grateful that we were able to have him as a part of our lives. His spirit and his legacy will live on forever in our hearts and in his music. 

- Sukanya & Anoushka Shankar