Legendary Sitarist Ravi Shankar Returns to the Meyerhoff for 90th Birthday World Tour, Nov. 5
Baltimore, Md. (October 14, 2010)—Dubbed “the godfather of world music” by friend, pupil and Beatle George Harrison, the legendary sitarist Ravi Shankar returns to the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall for a one-night engagement Friday, November 5, 2010 as part of his 90th birthday world tour. A renowned virtuoso, Ravi Shankar has performed throughout the world for eight decades. In addition to his mastery of the sitar, he is a writer, a teacher and his compositions for orchestra and film have won him high praise, including a Grammy Award and Oscar nominations. Please note: the BSO will not perform on this program. See below for complete concert details.
Ravi Shankar is widely credited for bringing Indian classical music to the attention of the world in the 1960’s. Originally a means of spiritual meditation dating back 2,000 years to ancient Hindu scripture, the art form combines melodies and rhythms into distinct modes, ragas, each of which is associated with a specific mood and season. Performing on traditional instruments, including the sitar and tabla (drum), musicians improvise within ragas, with an aesthetic intent of conveying the performer’s inner spirit. His recording of "Tana Mana," released in 1987, brought Shankar's music into the "new age" with its unique method of combining traditional instruments with electronics. He has written three concertos for sitar and orchestra, the most recent in 2008.
Ravi Shankar, sitarist
Ravi Shankar, the legendary sitarist and composer is India's most esteemed musical ambassador and a singular phenomenon in the classical music worlds of East and West. As a performer, composer, teacher and writer, he has done more for Indian music than any other musician has and is well known for his work in bringing Indian music to the West after long years of dedicated study under his illustrious guru Baba Allaudin Khan and after making a name for himself in India.
Ravi Shankar has written three concertos for sitar and orchestra, the last composed in 2008. He has also authored violin-sitar compositions for Yehudi Menuhin and himself, music for flute virtuoso Jean Pierre Rampal, music for Hosan Yamamoto, master of the Shakuhachi and Koto virtuoso Musumi Miyashita, as well as collaborated with Phillip Glass (Passages). George Harrison produced and participated in two of Shankar’s albums: Shankar Family & Friends and Festival of India. He has also composed for ballets and films in India, Canada, Europe and the United States. The latter of which includes the films Charly, Gandhi and the Apu trilogy.
Ravi Shankar is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and is a member of the United Nations International Rostrum of composers. He has received many awards and honors including 14 doctorates, the Bharat Ratna, the Padma Vibhushan, Desikottam, Padma Bhushan of 1967, the Music Council UNESCO award 1975, the Magsaysay Award from Manila, two Grammy's, the Fukuoka grand Prize from Japan, the Polar Music Prize of 1998 and the Crystal award from Davos. In 1986, he was nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha, India's upper house of Parliament.
Deeply moved by the plight of more than eight million refugees who came to India during the Bangla Desh Freedom struggle from Pakistan, Ravi Shankar wanted to help in any way he could. He planned to arrange a concert to collect money for the refugees. This humanitarian concern from Shankar sowed the seed of the concept for the Concert for Bangla Desh. With the help of George Harrison, this concert became the first magnus effort in fundraising, paving the way for many others to do charity concerts.
In the mid 1960s, Ravi Shankar gave three memorable concerts: Monterey Pop Festival, Concert for Bangla Desh and The Woodstock Festival. His recording Tana Mana released in 1987 brought his music into the “new age” with its unique method of combining traditional instruments with electronics.
The love and respect he commands both in India and in the West is unique in the annals of the history of music. In 1989, this remarkable musician celebrated his 50th year of concertizing, and the City of Birmingham Touring Opera Company commissioned him to do music theatre (Ghanashyam—a broken branch) which created history on the British arts scene.
COMPLETE CONCERT DETAILS
Friday, November 5, 2010 at 8 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Please note the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will not appear in this performance.
Tickets for this concert range from $32-$78 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.