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Here is a brief profile and biography of Pandit Ravi Shankar. Read about information on Indian Sitar Player Ravi Shankar.

Ravi Shankar Profile

Ravi Shankar
Born: April 7, 1920
Achievement: Made a major contribution in popularizing Indian classical music in the West; Recipient of Padma Vibhushan, Magsaysay Award, AND two Grammy Awards.

Ravi Shankar is a legendary sitar player and one of India's most esteemed classical musicians. Pandit Ravi Shankar has made a major contribution in popularizing Indian classical music in the West through his association with The Beatles (especially George Harrison).

Pandit Ravi Shankar was born on April 7, 1920 at Varanasi, India. His elder brother Uday Shankar was a famous Indian classical dancer. In his early years Ravi Shankar joined his elder brother, Uday Shankar and his troupe and went to Paris in 1930 to experiment with the stage by playing small roles in ballets for the next three years.

In 1938, Ravi Shankar gave up a possible dance career and started learning sitar under Allauddin Khan, founder of the Maihar Gharana of Indian classical music. Ravi Shankar's formal training ended in 1944. Thereafter, Pandit Ravi Shankar joined the IPTA and composed music for several ballets, started Renaissance artistes in 1947 and was in charge of Vadya Vrinda at the All India Radio in 1949. Ravi Shankar first performed outside India in the Soviet Union in 1954. He also performed at major events such as the Edinburgh Festival as well as major venues such as Royal Festival Hall. In 1960s, Ravi Shankar's fusion with George Harrison, a member of The Beatles became very popular in the US and helped in popularizing Indian classical music in the West.

Pandit Ravi Shankar has won several honours and awards. These include: Padma Vibhushan, Magsaysay Award, two Grammy Awards, Fukuoka Grand Prize from Japan, and the Crystal Award from Davos. In 1999, Ravi Shankar was awarded with Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour. He was also a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha, India's upper house of Parliament, from 1986 to 1992.