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Famous instrumentalists  
 
Pandit Ravi Shankar
  Pandit Ravi Shankar

Born on April 7, 1920, at Varanasi (also Benaras) in Uttar Pradesh into an orthodox, well-off Bengali Brahmin family, Pandit Ravi Shankar is a Sita Maestro and one of the most famed legends of the 20th century.

The legendary Sitarist and composer have contributed enormously to the world music institution and has added numerous golden page to the history of Indian classical music. The tune of this sitar crossed the seven seas. As long time admirer, fellow musician, student and ex-Beatles guitarist, George Harrison opines, "Ravi Shankar is the Godfather of world music".

Initially, Pandit Ravi Shankar made his foray into the world of performing
 
arts as a dancer (He had also danced in his elder brother Uday Shankar's dance troupe), in due course of time took patronage in Sitar under the Ustad Allauddin Khan (founder of the Maihar gharana of Indian classical music), the architect of 20th century Indian classical music. Under the guidance of legendary Ustad Allaudin Khan, Ravi Shankar had to undergo rigorous trials, which resulted in the creation of another great legend - the Sitar Maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar.


 
Ustad Allarakha
  Ustad Allarakha

Ustad Allarakha was born in 1919 in Phagwal, a small village in Jammu, the eldest son in a family of seven brothers. From his childhood, it was clear that he was special. Though his families were all soldiers and farmers, his interests lay elsewhere. For hours he would watch the travelling natak company perform their dramas, especially interested in the tabla player performing with the company. At other times, he would sit by the river, seeing a face on the water, and a voice inside him would tell him to seek this man out. This inner voice, at the age of eleven, led him to Lahore where he met the man with the face in his dreams. Mian Kader Baksh then became his guru and began his formal training in the art of tabla playing.

 
Soon the young Allarakha became the toast of every musical gathering in town and was offered a post at All India Radio, Lahore, where he worked for six years, after which he was transferred to Delhi and then to Bombay. Since Allarakha had also received extensive vocal training from the legendary Patiala guru, Ustad Aashiq Ali Khan, he arrived in Bombay prepared in both the rhythmic and melodic aspects of music.

In Bombay, his talent as a composer brought him in touch with the film world where he scored music for over twenty-five films with great success. He had many silver jubilee hits like "Maa Baap", "Ghar Ki Laaj", "Sabak", "Sati Anusuya", "Khandan", "Madari", "Alam Ara", "Jagga", "Bewafa" and many others. This, however, did not take him away from his tabla. He continued performing in major festivals all across the country and eventually chose to give up films and exclusively pursue his classical career. As an accompanist, he enjoyed a rare versatility, being equally at home with vocal music, instrumental music, Kathak dance, and as a soloist. His thirty-year association with Pandit Ravi Shankar was well known for its hallmark accomplishment of bringing Hindustani music to the far corners of the world, receiving the highest accolades from audiences and critics abroad. His consistently brilliant performances made the tabla a familiar percussion instrument the world over.
 
 
     
 
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Famous instrumentalists
Zakir Hussain
G. Ramakrishnan
Ali Akbar Khan
Hariprasad Churasiaya
Kadri Gopalnath
Ustad Allarakha
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Pandit Ravi Shankar
Ustad Bismillah Khan Sahib
Pandit R K Bijapure Maha Meru
N. Muralikrishnan
L. Subramaniam
 
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