Legendary Sitar maestro Ravi Shankar has been chosen for Cultural Legacy Award by Asia Society in recognition of his role in bringing Indian classical music to the US.
The award will be presented to him on November 1 by Asia Society President Vishakha N Desai.
The awards ceremony will be followed by a screening of the 1971 film 'Raga: A Film Journey into the Soul of India', which documents Shankar's life in the late 1960's and 1970 as he revisited his guru Bab Ustad Allauddin Khan and performed across Europe and the United States and introduced the world of classical Indian music to Western audiences.
"The Cultural Legacy Award recognises Ravi Shankar's role as a great and generous musician—in bringing Indian music to the US; in expanding his music to explore other musical genres; in educating the Western public and most personally for us at the Asia Society, for starting our own artistic journey of presenting the finest Asian performing artists," Asia Society Cultural Programs Director Rachel Cooper said.
"Shankar is a true virtuoso who stayed true to the classical form. At the same time he took the risk to experiment with different genres, working perhaps most famously with Yehudi Menuhin, George Harrison and the Beatles, and Philip Glass," says Cooper.
"He came to the US at a time when there was little popular awareness and openness to Indian classical music and sought to educate audiences about the form. We are thrilled to be presenting him with the Cultural Legacy Award."
Shankar came to the US as a sitar player for the first time in 1957. He had come to the US years earlier as a dancer in the dance troupe of his brother, Uday Shankar.