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Ravi Shankar 1920-2012

12 Dec 2012

Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar has passed away aged 92, in San Diego with his family at his side. His effect on music will be everlasting. A sitar virtuoso, Shankar is widely credited with bringing Indian music and culture to a worldwide audience.

'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. He will live forever in our hearts and in his music.' - Sukanya and Anoushka Shankar

Shankar enjoyed a lifetime of performing, from his childhood role in an Indian classical and folk dance troupe, to his last concert on November 4th 2012. His prolific recording career began in 1945 when he wrote the first of over 30 ragas. His latest album, The Living Room Sessions, Part 1, received a 2013 Grammy nomination, news of which reached Shankar the night prior to his surgery. Throughout his lifetime Shankar received numerous awards, including an honoury knighthood and India's highest civilian award.

'He is the music and the music is him. He's spent so many years of his life practising and playing. Ravi laid down the groundwork for other musicians who were later able to perform all around the world because of him.' - George Harrison, in his foreword to RAGA MALA

George Harrison learnt sitar from Shankar, which began a lifelong friendship. They worked together on a number of projects including The Concert for Bangladesh in 1971, which raised awareness of the plight of the Bengalis and set a precedent for future charity concerts. This appearance, along with the Woodstock and Monterey festivals, elevated Shankar to stardom in the Western world, which he used to establish a new audience for Indian music that continues to flourish today.

Genesis are deeply honoured to have worked with Ravi Shankar. Our thoughts are with his family at this time. Donations to the Ravi Shankar Foundation can be made online at

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