Published Dec 12, 2012Influential sitar maestro Ravi Shankar died in San Diego on Tuesday (December 11) at the age of 92. The cause of death is unclear at present, but the musician had reportedly been admitted to La Jolla's Scripps Memorial Hospital last Thursday (December 6) after complaining of breathing difficulties. His website states he passed away around 4:30 p.m. Pacific time.
Shankar was known for bringing Indian music to the rest of the world and famously made appearances at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock. George Harrison, who had at one time studied under Shankar, described him as "the godfather of world music." Shankar and Harrison also organized the "Concert for Bangladesh" together in 1971.
Among his many accomplishments, Shankar had won three Grammy Awards, in 1967, 1971 and 2000. Between 1986 and 1992, he served as a nominated member of the upper chamber of the Parliament of India and was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, in 1999.
Shankar was born in Varanasi and spent his early years travelling around Europe and India with a dance group. He began studying the sitar in 1938. On top of his studio albums, the musician composed notable film scores for Satyajit Ray's Apu trilogy in the '50s and Richard Attenborough's 1982 film Gandhi.
At the time of his death, Shankar had been living in Encinitas, CA, with his wife Sukanya Rajan. He is also survived by his daughters, sitar player Anoushka Shankar and singer Norah Jones.