Ravi Shankar

Ravi Shankar has established himself as one of the premier musicians of our age and has the resume to prove it - he holds the Guinness Record for the longest international career, is a charismatic virtuoso sitar player, collaborated with the Beatles at the height of their fame, and has 14 honorary doctorates. Born in Bangladesh on April 7, 1920, he became involved with the arts at a young age, playing the sitar and performing with a dance troupe before he began writing scores for film and ballets. In the 1950's he became the musical director of All India Radio. During this time, he spent long years of dedicated study with his guru and began impacting the international world, performing classical sitar in the Soviet Union, Western Europe and the US, in turn becoming one of India's most recognizable figures. Shankar's far reaching talent lends itself to other experimental forms beyond classical, and in 1965 he became affiliated with George Harrison, becoming his close friend and mentor. The magnetism of the Beatles brought Shankar a whole new youthful audience, and he performed at monumental events like the Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock, somewhat unconventional for a classical musician. In 1974, Ravi Shankar and Friends was the opening act for Harrison's US tour. To date, he has composed an extraordinary amount of music as well as establishing important international political, spiritual and social status. In 2002, he was granted the Indian Chamber of Commerce Lifetime Achievement Award. While his legacy shines brightly on its own, Shankar is also the father of Grammy winner, Norah Jones.

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