Yousuf KARSH

Armenia 1908 – United States of America 2002

  • 1925 Canada

Ravi Shankar 1968 Creation Notes: prtd 1974
Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph Support: card

Dimensions: printed image 99.0 h x 73.6 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1973
Accession No: NGA 74.396.51
Subject: Portrait: male, musician
  • ‘Through his genius and his mastery of the ancient instrument, the sitar, this soft-spoken musician has opened the ears of the world to the traditional ragas of his native India.’ (Karsh)

    Ravi Shankar is famed as the person who popularised Indian music in the West. He was called the ‘Godfather of World Music’ by George Harrison. He studied sitar with Ustad Allauddin Kahn, the founder of modern Hindustani classical music. Shankar has toured Europe and the United States extensively from the mid-1950s; famous appearances include the Monterey Pop Festival (1967), Woodstock (1969) and George Harrison’s Concert for Bangla Desh (1971). He has collaborated with a number of prominent musicians; for example, giving recitals with violinist Yehudi Menuhin. Like Menuhin, he was the founder of schools of music, in Bombay (1962) and in Los Angeles (1967). In 1967 he was cited as ‘Musician of the Year’ by Billboard Magazine.

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra