Ravi shankar was born in 1920 in Benares, the seat of Hindu culture, he left his home early, contrary to the orthodox ideals then prevailing, and joined his brother, Uday Shankar, for a long spell of activities abroad. It was in his brother's troupe that he began his career of music and dance.
In his travels he had the opportunity to hear the West's great music. His consequent understanding and respect for Western music has greatly helped in his unique success in interpreting the highly emotional and complex range of Indian music to a Western audience.
On his return to India, his craving for classical music ledhim to Ustad Alluaddin Khan, one of the greatest living musicians. After years of rigorous training in the technique of the sitar and music in general, he started a new as a classical soloist and soon established himself in the front rank of young musicians. Richer with the foundation of classical values, he started experiments in orchestrating Indian music on a hitherto unstamped scale, and successfully founded, composed for, and conducted the National Orchestra at All India Radio.
He was the first classical musician to set a pattern of creative compositions and orchestrations and also conducted his own works.
He has no peer as a composer and conductor of orchestral, film and ballet music. He scores for the films Pather Panchali and Kabuliwala, by the great filmmaker Styajit Ray, have won the greatest acclaim and many international prizes.