OLIVER CRASKE

Indian Sun - The Life and Music of Ravi Shankar

Allen & Unwin

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The first full biography of Ravi Shankar, India's most important cultural figure of the past century.

Over eight decades, Ravi Shankar was India's greatest cultural ambassador who took Indian classical music to the world's leading concert halls and festivals, charting the map for those who followed. Renowned for his association with The Beatles - teaching George Harrison sitar - Shankar turning the Sixties generation on to Indian music, astonishing the crowds at Woodstock, Monterey Pop and the Concert for Bangladesh with his virtuosity. He radically reshaped jazz and Western classical music as well as writing film scores, including Pather Panchali and Gandhi, and transformed awareness of Indian culture in the process.

Indian Sun is the first biography of Ravi Shankar. Benefitting from unprecedented access to family archives, Oliver Craske paints a vivid picture of a captivating, restless workaholic, who lived a passionate and extraordinary life - from his childhood in his brother's dance troupe, through intensive study of the sitar, to his revival of the national music scene; and from the 1950s, a pioneering international career that ultimately made his name synonymous with India.

Author bio:

Alongside a career as a publisher of books on music and art, Oliver Craske has pursued a longstanding interest in Indian music, and was appointed to work with Ravi Shankar as the ghostwriter of his autobiography Raga Mala (1997), carrying out over 30 hours of interviews, and forming a close bond for the last eighteen years of his life. Shankar encouraged him to write his full story after his death. He is curatorial consultant to London's Southbank Centre for their exhibition on Ravi Shankar, which will run from January to June 2020. He has visited India frequently over the past two decades, and is a student of North Indian classical vocal music under Chandrima Misra at Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in London.