Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar dies at 92 in San Diego

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Pandit Ravi Shankar, legendary sitar player and brand ambassador of Indian classical music to the world, died on Tuesday at San Diego in the United States USA at the age of 92.

The musical legend was ailing for quite some years and on Dec 6 he was admitted at the Scripps Memorial Hospital here.

‘Although it is a time for sorrow and sadness, it is also a time for all of us to give thanks and to be grateful that we were able to have him as a part of our lives. He will live forever in our hearts and in his music,’ the family of the musician said in a statement.

Panditji was admitted to hospital after he complained of breathing problems.

Pandit Ravi Shankar was born in Varanasi on April 7, 1920 and spent his youth touring Europe and India with the dance group of his brother Uday Shankar.

But he chose sitar as his love and took lessons under Allauddin Khan.

From working with Satyajit Ray, All India Radio to collaborating famously with the Beatles, violinist Yehudi Menuhin and jazz saxophonist John Coltrane, Pandit Ravi Shankar was a legendary musician and the unofficial brand ambassador of Indian music.

He was conferred the highest civilian honour of India, Bharat Ratna in 1999.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in an immediate reaction said: ‘An era has passed away with Pt. Ravi Shankar. The nation joins me to pay tributes to his unsurpassable genius, his art and his humility.’

The Prime Minister called him ‘a national treasure and global ambassador of India’s cultural heritage.’

Pandit Ravi Shankar is survived by his wife Sukanya and musician daughters, Anushka Shankar and Norah Jones.

‘He was a legend of legends,’ said Santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma.

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