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.
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.