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Watch: Musicians around the world perform virtually on Pandit Ravi Shankar’s birth centenary

Daughter Anoushka Shankar and classical musicians from around the world who were Pandit Ravi Shankar's students came up with a special performance from their homes, and delighted music lovers everywhere.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi |
April 9, 2020 1:49:48 pm
pandit ravi shankar, pt ravi shankar centenary, sandhya raga, anoushka shankar students virtual concert, ravi shankar students virtual concert, viral videos, indian express Hindustani classical musicians from around the world joined the virtual concert.

Concerts and public performances may be on hold across the world, but a number of renowned Indian classical musicians from across the world came together to perform in a virtual concert to mark the birth centenary of sitar maestro Ravi Shankar. The maestro’s daughter Anoushka Shankar and classical musicians who were students of the prolific sitarist came together for a mesmerising performance.

All the musicians performed the Sandhya Raga and the performance is being shared across social media:

“As part of the preparation for the Centenary concerts, I’ve been having an illuminating time delving into my father’s catalogue to make new arrangements of some of his incredible compositions. I couldn’t bear the thought that we wouldn’t be playing any of it tonight, so I asked many of my father’s students to record from their own homes around the world so we could play for you,” Shankar wrote.

The tribute included Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (Mohan veena), Shubhendra Rao (sitar), Gaurav Mazumdar (sitar), Aditya Verma (sarod), Ravichandra Kulur (flute), Barry Phillips (cello), Ashwani Shankar (shehnai), Bickram Ghosh (tabla), and B.C. Manjunath (mridangam) among others.

His daughter shared another tribute in which she performed another sitar song titled ‘Fathers’, in collaboration with music composer Nitin Sawhney.

Shankar’s daughter Norah Jones also came up with her own special tribute.

“Today I was meant to be in London playing a concert of music by my father, Ravi Shankar, for what would have been his 100th birthday. Instead, I will share with you my at-home version of one of his western compositions, ‘I Am Missing You’. This song hits me as a beautiful prayer in this moment,” Jones wrote, while sharing the musical piece.

Shankar, who died in 2012, was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 1999.

As The Indian Express’s obituary at the time of his demise noted, he wasn’t even even a musician originally.

“For a person who changed the way people looked at Indian classical music, giving the sitar a global platform among connoisseurs and critics alike, it is a little difficult to imagine that Shankar began his career as a dancer in his brother’s dance troupe. But soon enough, he was drawn to the sitar. After travelling the world with his brother at a young age and spending considerable time in Paris, Shankar left for Maihar, a small town near Jabalpur, to learn music from Ustad Alauddin Khan, founder of the Maihar gharana, an exacting purist and a strict task master, who beat up his own son — Ustad Ali Akbar Khan— if a single note went wrong.”

“Shankar soon blossomed as a sitar player. So much so that Khan had his daughter Annapurna Devi marry Shankar in a Hindu-Muslim alliance — a rarity in the 1940s,” it said.

“Shankar soon revelled in the showmanship of a modern performance, came to Mumbai and joined the Indian People’s Theatre Association. He began travelling for concerts abroad with Pandit Chaturlal and Ustad Allah Rakha, becoming a sensation in the West by bending rules to make his music more audience-friendly…Soon he was drawing The Beatles, particularly George Harrison, with the band collaborating with him on their song Norwegian Wood. This brought him a new audience.” (Read the full obituary)

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