These Maestros have made Indian Classical Instruments famous world over

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India has been blessed with multiple classical instrument players, who have mesmerized listeners from around the world with their art. Let’s take a look at some of the famous Indian classical instrument players you should add to your playlist.famous indian classical instrument players

Famous Indian classical instrument players

Ustad Bismillah Khan (1916 – 2006)
ustad bismillah khan

  • Ustad Qamruddin Bismillah Khan was a famous musician who held the essence of Indian culture through his art.
  • He played the shehnai, a wind instrument, with such mastery that no one has been able to achieve till today.
  • Born into a family of musicians, Ustad Bismillah Khan was an iconic figure and played during many national events such as the first Independence Day as also played in many international events.
  • He was honored with Bharat Ratna, Padma Shri, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.

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Pandit Ravi Shankar (1920-2012)
pandit ravi shankar

  • Pandit Ravi Shankar was one of the best sitar players in the world with a tremendous contribution to Hindustani classical music.
  • His music has had a global impact, with students including rock group The Byrds and George Harrison from The Beatles as he played the world over.
  • He was honored with the highest civilian award in India, Bharat Ratna in 1999. He was also awarded Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award among others. His work was also appreciated and recognized in various parts of the world where he was conferred prestigious awards including five Grammy Awards Ramon Magsaysay Award, Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Commander of the Legion of Honour of France and many more.

Famous Indian classical instrument players

Hariprasad Chaurasia (1938 – present)
hariprasad chaurasia

  • Hariprasad Chaurasia is an Indian flutist and one of the greatest masters of the north Indian bamboo flute.
  • He is the recipient of Padma Bhushan in 1992 and a Padma Vibushan in 2000. He has a long list of awards including Konark Samman, Yash Bharati Samman, Dinanath Mangeshkar AwardAkshaya Samman – 2009, and many more.
  • Chaurasia was born in a musical family, but his father did not want him to become a musician. When he was 15, Chaurasia began learning classical vocal music secretly from his neighbor. After meeting flutist Pandit Bholanath Prasanna, he was deeply influenced by his music and start learning to play the flute under his guidance.
  • He not only collaborated with Indian musicians but also several western musicians like Ken Lauber, Jan Garbarek, and John McLaughlin. He also played on ‘The Beatles’ 1968 B-side “The Inner Light”.

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Famous Indian classical instrument players

Pandit Shivkumar Sharma (1938 – 2022)
pandit shivkumar sharma

  • Pandit ShivKumar Sharma is a renowned santoor player and can be easily called the best santoor player in the world.
  • He is the recipient of the Padma Shree in 1991 and Padma Vibhushan in 2001. He has also won accolades around the world.
  • His compositions for blockbusters such as Silsila and Chandni are some of his masterpieces.
  • Shivkumar Sharma’s son Rahul Sharma shares a guru- shishya relationship with him. This father-son duo has taken the santoor to new heights.
  • Pandit Shivkumar Sharma and his son Rahul Sharma along with Yogesh Samsi had performed at the Barbican Centre.

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