The flag bearer of Indian classical music, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia will always be remembered as the best flautist all around the world. A real master of the North Indian Bamboo flute, Chaurasia mesmerized millions with his immense skills and remarkable talent. He is renowned not only in India but is also loved throughout the world and has worked as a music director for many international films. Such is his critical acclaim that he even featured in one of them, The Beatles’ singles. We bring you to his life and work.
- Hariprasad Chaurasia was born on July 1, 1938, in Allahabad. His father was a wrestler and wanted Hariprasad to pursue the same field. However, Hariprasad’s interests lay elsewhere and he pursued his passion for the flute without his father’s knowledge. He secretly started learning classical vocal technique from his neighbor at the age of 15.
- He credits all his skills with the flute today to Pandit Bholanath Prasanna of Varanasi under whom he learned for 8 years. He was deeply influenced by him and switched to playing the flute after he met him.
- His first job as an artist was when he joined the All India Radio (AIR) Cuttack in 1957 where worked as a composer and performer.
- Along with Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma, the famous Santoor player, he has composed music for several Indian films which include Lamhe, Chandni, Silsila, Darr, and Parampara. The Shiv-Hari duo has also produced an album called “Call of the Valley”.
- He was awarded the Sumitra Charat Ram Award for Lifetime Achievement in the field of Indian classical music. “I am part of this Kendra for a long time and never miss a chance to be with them. They have given me a great honor with this award,” Chourasia said after the award.
- He has served as the artistic director of the World Music Department at the Rotterdam Music Conservatory in the Netherlands and worked with the world famous John McLaughlin.
- He is the founder of two music schools called ‘Vrindavan Gurukul’ dedicated to training in Hindustani Bansuri. Many of his proteges have become world famous flautists.
- He married twice, first to Kamala Devi with whom he has two sons – Ajay and Vinay and then Anuradha ‘Angurbala’ Roy with whom he has one son – Rajeev.
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- The Sangeet Natak Academy Award-1984
- The Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar-1990
- Padma Bhushan-1992
- Konark Samman-1992
- Padma Vibhushan – 2000
- Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters from Republic of France – 2009
- Honorary Doctorate, IIT Kharagpur-2011
- Sangeet Natak Academy Fellowship Award-2012