Indian sitar player and composer Ravi Shankar was born Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury in Varanasi on 7 April 1920. He spent his youth touring India and Europe as a member of his brother's dance group. In 1938 he gave up dancing to study the sitar with Allauddin Khan until 1944. He then worked as a composer, and was music director at All India Radio in New Delhi from 1949 until 1956. From then on, he toured Europe and America playing Indian classical music, becoming the best-known Indian contemporary musician in the West. He wrote concerti for sitar and orchestra and befriended Yehudi Menuhin, George Harrison and Richard Bock.
Ravi Shankar died in hospital in La Jolia, San Diego, USA on 11 December 2012, aged ninety-two.
A selection of M&V articles about Ravi Shankar
Ensemble. Piano meets Sitar - Malcolm Miller at a CD launch of Peter Feuchtwanger's exotic piano music