Renowned sarod and sitar maker Hemendra Chandra Sen, who crafted musical instruments for maestros like Amjad Ali Khan, Ali Akbar Khan and Ravi Shankar, died at his residence in Kolkata following a cardiac arrest on Saturday. The 87-year-old is survived by two sons and two daughters.
His sons have also been trained in the art of making stringed instruments. Sen was working on sarods at his house till last night. He suffered a stroke this morning and passed away soon after, his family said. Sen, who began learning the craft at the tender age of nine, used to make a variety of stringed instruments, including sarods, sitars and tanpuras.
Widely reputed for making each instrument custom-made according to the specifications of musicians, Sen came to the city in the 1940s and took sitar lessons from Ali Ahmed Khan. His high-profile clientele included Ali Akbar Khan, Ravi Shankar, Annapurna Devi, Bahadur Khan, Amjad Ali Khan and his two sons -- Amaan and Ayaan.
Sen received the prestigious Haafiz Ali Khan award from Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2003. Some of his instruments were exported to other countries, including the United States, Spain, Germany and Switzerland. Condoling his death, Amjad Ali Khan described him as the "greatest sarod maker".