Picture: Ravi Shankar The Washington Performing Arts Society presents Ravi Shankar with his daughter Anoushka Shankar. Ravi Shankar recently completed his farewell tour of Europe...
Family, friends and fans have all congregated in California today to mourn the late Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar, who passed away earlier this month.
Shankar will long be remembered for his inspirational style of playing the sitar, which has led many to claim him to be the greatest player of the instrument in the modern era. His work with The Beatles and the influence he had on them, particularly George Harrison, who became a close friend to Shankar, opened his work and a completely new sound to Western ears for the first time for many, and his music will be remembered long after his passing.
Olivia Harrison, the widow of George, attended the ceremony and gave a speech telling of the impact Shankar had on her, her late husband and everyone who came into contact with him. Whilst Ravi's daughter, Anoushka Shankar, and her half-sister Norah Jones also showed up to pay their respects to the late great.
The memorial service was held at the Self-Realisation Fellowship spiritual centre, in Encinitas, California, which lays close to Ravi's former home, where he saw out his final days. Anoushka , also a sitar player, reassured the crowd that his father would have approved of the venue, and would have been overwhelmed by the response his passing has had. Private memorial services have also been held across America and in his native India, with more expected to follow.
Shankar died at the age of 92, after failing to recover from surgery at a hospital in La Jolla, near San Diego. His family was at his bedside when he passed.