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90 down, ages to go

Sitar, in India, is perhaps synonymous with Pandit Ravi Shankar. One of the greatest Indian music icons and a three-time Grammy winner will perform with daughter Anoushka at a concert soon.

music Updated: Dec 16, 2009 16:21 IST
Jayeeta Mazumder

Pt Ravi ShankarSitar, in India, is perhaps synonymous with Pandit Ravi Shankar. One of the greatest Indian music icons and a three-time Grammy winner, this living legend knows just the right mix of Indian classical and western influences that go into making magical music. His collaboration with George Harrison, Philip Glass, Yehudi Menuhin, among many others, ushered in a completely new era of music in India.

The maestro will now perform along with daughter Anoushka Shankar at a concert that is part of a series of concerts across the world commemorating his 90th year. The concert titled Anant, will be held on December 19 and is organised by Banyan Tree.

Memories galore
It is being speculated that the concert might be his last in the city. Panditji does have a lot of fond memories of Mumbai. “My memory goes back as early as the 1940’s, when I’d be playing at Music Circles such as Bombay Music Circle, Santa Cruz Music Circle. I’d go on playing the entire night for the rasik and samajhdaar (discerning) listeners,” he says.

For Panditji, there are a lot of contemporary musicians who he enjoys listening to. “I can’t pinpoint in particular. There are several whose music I really like,” he says.

As a father and guru, Panditji finds “great joy” when playing with daughter Anoushka. We ask him, what keeps him motivated to perform even at the age of 90. “Music is my other wife,” he is quick to reply.

It’s truly the right opportunity to be a part of a concert that will be etched as one of the most memorable musical evenings. If you love humming Yellow submarine, then you surely wouldn’t want to miss the performance of a virtuoso who influenced the Beatles.