RIP Ravi Shankar (1920-2012)

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We were saddened to hear of the passing of Ravi Shankar, sitar virtuoso, internationally renowned musician and Honorary Fellow of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

In November 2009 the renowned musician was honoured by Trinity Laban for his contribution to the performance and promotion of Indian Music both nationally and internationally.

His family said: "Although it is a time for sorrow and sadness, it is also a time for all of us to give thanks and to be grateful that we were able to have him as a part of our lives. He will live forever in our hearts and in his music."

Principal of Trinity Laban, Professor Anthony Bowne, said today:

"Ravi Shankar was hugely supportive of Trinity Laban's collaborative programmes and projects, particularly those that encouraged local children and young people into music and dance.

"We were delighted when Ravi accepted an Honorary Fellowship from us at an intimate ceremony in Greenwich in 2009, and he continued to support our work since then. The world has lost a great talent and a genuinely inspiring individual."

Shankar gained widespread international recognition through his association with The Beatles. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described him as a "national treasure and global ambassador of India's cultural heritage".

He played at Woodstock and the 1967 Monterey Pop festival, and also collaborated with violinist Yehudi Menuhin and jazz saxophonist John Coltrane. Shankar also composed a number of film scores, including Gandhi, and collaborated with US composer Philip Glass in Passages in 1990.

In 1999, Shankar was awarded the highest civilian citation in India - the Bharat Ratna, or Jewel of India.

For the last years of his life, Ravi Shankar lived in Encinitas, California, with his wife.

Picture credit: Vincent Limongelli

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