Obituary: Sitarist and Indian music ambassador Ravi Shankar, 92

Posted on: December 12, 2012

In Wednesday’s (12/12) New York Times, Allan Kozinn writes, “Ravi Shankar, the Indian sitarist and composer whose collaborations with Western classical musicians as well as rock stars helped foster a worldwide appreciation of India’s traditional music, died Tuesday in a hospital near his home in Southern California. He was 92. … Mr. Shankar, a soft-spoken, eloquent man whose performance style embodied a virtuosity that transcended musical languages, was trained in both Eastern and Western musical traditions. … In 1952 he met and began performing with the violinist Yehudi Menuhin, with whom he made three recordings for EMI: ‘West Meets East’ (1967), ‘West Meets East, Vol. 2’ (1968) and ‘Improvisations: East Meets West’ (1977). … In 1990 he collaborated with the Minimalist composer Philip Glass—who had worked as his assistant on the film score for ‘Chappaqua’ in the late 1960s—on ‘Passages,’ a recording of works he and Mr. Glass composed for each other. … In the late 1960s he founded a school of Indian music, the Kinnara School, in Los Angeles. He was a visiting professor at City College in New York in 1967. … ‘If I’ve accomplished anything in these past 30 years,’ Mr. Shankar said in a 1985 interview, ‘it’s that I have been able to open the door to our music in the West.’ ”

Posted December 12, 2012