The tabla and sitar have become South Asia’s identity in the world. If Ustaad Allah Rakha with his son Zakir Hussain introduced the tabla, then the sitar earned its recognition through Pandit Ravi Shankar. This wizard didn’t need any wands, just three strings were enough for him to bring tears into the eyes of his audience. Shankar’s journey as a musician was not just a journey of one man, but a whole region.
Amir Zaki Guitar virtuoso/composer
Everyone can be a follower but only a few set the trend. We are thankful to him for the exposure he has given to Indian classical music. However, it is pertinent to mention that had the Pakistani government honoured Ustaad Rais Khan as the Indian government honoured Ravi Shankar, Khan would have been an equally celebrated name.
Sharif Awan General Secretary Tehzeeb Foundation
It is the greatest loss to sitar. Futuristic people like Pandit Ravi Shankar were responsible for introducing our region to the globe. Unfortunately, some of his contemporaries took his modification in the classical style of sitar playing as blasphemous to classical music. He was a true reformist and all the changes he brought to sitar playing are still practiced
Arshad Mehmood Veteran composer / actor
Sitar was recognised as a potential Indian instrument because of stalwarts like Pandit Ravi Shankar. His contemporaries like Ustad Vilayat Khan were no less, but the important thing was innovation; only Shankar did this amongst his fellow musicians. We have lost one of the most prominent instrumentalists of our time and the whole world will feel this loss
Published in The Express Tribune, December 13th, 2012.