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News |  12 Dec 2012 12:38 |  By RnMTeam

Sitar maestro Pt Ravi Shankar passes away

MUMBAI: Legendary sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar passed away on Tuesday at the age of 92 years in San Diego in United States.

Pandit Shankar was admitted to the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, San Diego last Thursday after he complained of breathing difficulties. He breathed his last at 4.30 pm Pacific Time Tuesday.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said, “ I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar. India has lost an eminent son, the world of sitar has lost one of its ablest exponents ever and a shining light in the firmament of music has been extinguished. Like many others around the world, I join you in grieving this loss and in extending to you and your loved ones my heartfelt condolences.”

India's ambassador to US Nirupama Rao also tweeted confirming his death, "Pandit Ravi Shankar. Mourn passing of a musical genius and gentle soul. Attended his last concert Nov in Calif. He played with such passion." She added, “His last concert was particularly poignant. Anoushka and he played together in perfect unison. A torch was passed.”

The legend had developed a style distinct from that of his contemporaries and integrated influences from Carnatic music.

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar condoles the demise of Sitar Maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar.India has lost a distinguished son, she said.

Ravi Shankar was born Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury on 7 April 1920 in Varanasi. Shankar went on to work as a composer, creating the music for Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy and was music director of All India Radio (AIR), New Delhi, from 1949 to 1956. He was nominated to the Rajya Sabha from 1986 to 1992. He was awarded Bharat Ratna in 1999.

He received the music award of the UNESCO International Music Council in 1975.A three-time Grammy-award winner; Pandit Ravi Shankar was nominated for a Grammy award for 2013 where he was competing against daughter Anoushka Shankar, also a sitar player.  In 2010, Shankar received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Shankar served as the country’s unofficial ambassador for music playing with the world’s famous artists like violinist Yehudi Menuhin and George Harrison of the Beatles.

He is survived by his wife Sukanya; daughter Norah Jones; daughter Anoushka Shankar Wright and husband Joe Wright; three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.