The family is going live from their home at 3pm on Facebook and Instagram
Today marks sitar maestro Ravi Shankar's birth centenary. Daughter Anoushka Shankar had a string of events lined up, with a gala performance on his birthday, April 7, but the coronavirus thwarted the plans. Instead, the family is going live from their home at 3pm on Facebook and Instagram.
"Hi everyone, this isn’t something I would normally do, but tomorrow I’m inviting you to join my family and me as we privately light a candle and say some prayers to mark my late father’s hundredth birthday," she wrote. "We were meant to have celebrated with a massive gala performance, but since that can’t happen, we’re inviting you to join us at home instead. Sending you love and light in these trying times!"
She also shared a video with the legend's students captioning: "Today would have my father and Guru Ravi Shankar's HUNDREDTH BIRTHDAY!!! To celebrate, I’ve asked many of my father’s students to help me record this music to share with you today. This is my father’s piece “Sandhya Raga,' which I love dearly. I first got to perform it in my debut concert at thirteen, and it has been a nourishing staple I’ve returned to over the years. I like to think it would have made him smile to see us performing it together again, reuniting in music whilst spread out across the planet."
Multi-instrumentalist Dhani Harrison, son of Ravi's long term collaborator George Harrison, also put up a long Facebook status with fond recollections: "Raviji not only was like a grandfather/father to me but he was a dear friend who met me on my level whatever age I was."
Shankar was born to a Bengali Brahmin family. He toured around Europe with his brother Uday Shankar's dance troupe. He studied sitar playing under Alauddin Khan and composed scores for many of Satyajit Ray's films, including the Apu Trilogy. From 1950s, he toured around the world playing classical Indian music. One of his memorable performances was at the Concert for Bangladesh in August, 1971, a charity concert organized by former Beatle guitarist George Harrison to raise funds for refugee relief during the Liberation War. Shankar was awarded Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, in 1999. The sitarist died
in December 2012, aged 92.
Anoushka, along with sister Norah Jones, is slated to perform at the Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, on May 19 to celebrate the late pundit's birth centenary.