Ravi Shankar

Born April 7, 1920

Died December 11, 2012

Born in India

Shankar was an Indian sitar performer and composer who brought North Indian classical music to the world. Born in British India, he grew up dancing in a touring tandem with his brother, until turning to the study of music and the sitar. Early on, he composed the music for Satyajit Ray’s film “Apu Trilogy” and served as the music director for All India Radio.

He began touring during the mid-1950’s, sharing Indian classical music with Europe and America, and influencing, among others, George Harrison of the Beatles. This is when the use of Indian instruments began showing up in western music. He also performed at the legendary Woodstock concert in 1969.

Along with his lifetime of composing and performing music, Shankar won 5 Grammy Awards, was nominated for an Academy Award, received a plethora of honor from the Indian government, and served in the upper chamber of the Indian Parliament. He’s the father of three children including best-selling American recording artist Norah Jones and Grammy-Award nominated composer Anoushka Shankar.