Ravi Shankar was born on this day in 1920

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Ravi Shankar: Indian composer/sitarist

Common clues: Sitarist Shankar; First name in Indian music; Norah's dad; Beatle George's sitarist friend; First name in ragas; Shankar with a sitar

Crossword puzzle frequency: 3 times a year

Frequency in English language: 46871 / 86800

News: Psychedelic 1960s

Video: Ravi Shankar on the Dick Cavett Show

Pop changes week to week, month to month. But great music is like literature. -- Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar (born April 7, 1920 in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India) is a Bengali-Indian musician best known for his virtuosity on the sitar.

A disciple of Allauddin Khan (founder of the Maihar gharana of Indian classical music), Pandit Ravi Shankar is arguably the best-known Indian instrumentalist, and is well known for his pioneering work in bringing the power and appeal of the Indian classical music tradition, as well as Indian music and its performers in general, to the West. This was done through his association with The Beatles as well as with his own personal charisma. His musical career spans over six decades and Shankar currently holds the Guinness Record for the longest international career.

Ravi Shankar gave up a possible dance career, and starting in 1938 he spent long years of dedicated study under his guru Allaudin Khan. His first public performances in India came in 1939. Formal training ended in 1944 and he worked out of Bombay. He began writing scores for film and ballet and started a recording career with HMV's Indian affiliate. He became music director of All India Radio in the 1950s.

Ravi Shankar then became well known to the music world outside India, first performing in the Soviet Union in 1954 and then the West in 1956. He performed in major events such as the Edinburgh Festival as well as major venues such as Royal Festival Hall.

George Harrison, a member of The Beatles, began experimenting with the sitar in 1965. The two eventually met due to this common interest and became close friends, and that in turn expanded Shankar's fame as a pop star and as Harrison's mentor. This development greatly expanded his career. He was invited to play venues that were unusual for a classical musician, such as the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival in Monterey, California, with Ustad Alla Rakha on tabla. He was also one of the artists who performed at the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and The Concert for Bangladesh in 1971. Ravi Shankar & Friends was also the opening act for Harrison's 1974 tour of the United States.

Ravi Shanker has been critical of some facets of the Western reception of Indian music. On a trip to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district after performing in Monterey, Shankar wrote "I felt offended and shocked to see India being regarded so superficially and its great culture being exploited. Yoga, Tantra, mantra, kundalini, ganja, hashish, Kama Sutra? They all became part of a cocktail that everyone seemed to be lapping up!" In 1969 he published an English language autobiography, My Music, My Life.

Ravi Shankar has written two concertos for sitar and orchestra, violin-sitar compositions for Yehudi Menuhin and himself, music for flute virtuoso Jean Pierre Rampal, and music for Hozan Yamamoto, master of the shakuhachi (Japanese flute), and koto virtuoso Musumi Miyashita. He has composed extensively for films and ballets in India, Canada, Europe, and the United States, including Chappaqua, Charly, Gandhi, and the Apu Trilogy. His recording Tana Mana, released on the Private Music label in 1987, penetrated the New Age genre with its unique combination of traditional instruments with electronics. The classical composer Philip Glass acknowledges Shankar as a major influence, and the two collaborated to produce Passages, a recording of compositions in which each reworks themes composed by the other. Shankar also composed the sitar part in Glass's 2004 composition Orion.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ravi Shankar".  

RAVI (171) 90 Tu >1 09 Sitarist Shankar

6 We+ >1 06 First name in Indian music

6 We- >1 03 Shankar of sitar

5 Tu- >1 03 Norah's dad

4 Th- >1 04 Beatle George's sitarist friend

4 Tu+ >1 08 Sitar master Shankar

4 Th Rea 07 Sitarist's name

3 Mo+ >1 06 First name in ragas

3 Th >1 05 Norah's father

06 Norah's pop

3 We- >1 04 Shankar of India

2 Tu >1 05 First name in sitar music

2 Fr >1 03 George's sitar teacher

2 Th Rea 09 Indian pal of Beatle George

2 We- >1 94 Mr. Shankar

2 Tu >1 96 Shankar

2 Tu- >1 01 Shankar of the sitar

2 We LAT 09 Shankar with a sitar

2 Th- >1 08 Sitar expert Shankar

07 Sitar star Shankar

1 Th LAT 00 "My LifeMy Music" autobiograhper Shankar

1 Sa NYT 99 A teacher of John, Paul and George

1 We CSy 07 Beatle George's sitar teacher

1 We NYT 08 First name in raga

1 Th CHE 05 First name in sitar playing