I came across The Hindu reports while trolling Twitter tonight. They’ve reported that the world’s most famous sitar player, Pandit Ravi Shankar, has died. He was in San Diego at the time of his death, admitted to the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla last Thursday after suffering from breathing difficulties. The official time of death was at 4:30 p.m. Pacific Time, December 11 2012.
Shankar was an active musician his entire life, including his final days. He began studying the sitar in 1938 at age 18, though he achieved international acclaim in the 1960’s after befriending George Harrison, most notably his contributions to Concert for Bangladesh. Shankar is nominated for a 2013 Grammy Award.
I was in college when I first came across Concert for Bangladesh. I’m sad to say it’s my only experience with Shankar, and the closest I ever got to being a real Beatles fan.I remember the music having a profound effect on me. I even read Siddhartha while listening to the record. I feel like it gave me a connection to a new culture, cheesy though that may sound. It was, and is, an important part of my musical narrative.
92 is a good age to die. Even then, Ravi Shankar will be missed. Here’s hoping he get’s that final Grammy.