The Royal Albert Hall was saddened to hear of the death of Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar, who passed away on 11 December 2012 at the age of 92.

Described by George Harrison as “the godfather of world music”, Shankar’s name is now synonymous with Indian music, with his performances and collaborations throughout his long musical career helping to spread Indian classical music to international audiences.

Shankar was still performing and recording in 2012, with his latest album Living Room Sessions – Part 1 receiving a 2013 Grammy nomination in the Best World Music Album category.

For more information on Ravi Shankar’s life, please read the obituaries online from The Guardian and The Telegraph.

Ravi Shankar at the Royal Albert Hall

Ravi Shankar has a long history at the Royal Albert Hall, having appeared here on 17 occasions.

His first performance at the Hall came on 21 October 1969 in an event marking 100 years since the birth of Mahatma Gandhi. Attended by the High Commissioner of India, Prime Minister Harold Wilson, HRH The Prince of Wales and a number of other guests, Shankar performed alongside the City of Birmingham Orchestra, as well as frequent collaborators Alla Rakha and Yehudi Menuhin. This concert was one of the earliest Indian music events held at the Royal Albert Hall.

A number of concert appearances throughout the 1970s made Shankar a regular performer at the Hall, with tabla player Alla Rakha regularly accompanying him on stage.

VIDEO: George Harrison introduces Ravi Shankar at the Hall on 23 September 1974

Following just one appearance at the Hall in the 1980s, Shankar returned on 3 April 1990 with a special concert celebrating his 70th birthday. 3 years later on 9 November 1993, the Ravi Shankar Concert for Peace was held here in aid of The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation – the magical concert was captured on CD, available to buy on Amazon.

After the death of friend and collaborator George Harrison, a special dedication by Shankar was read out at the start of the Concert for George, held at the Hall on 19 November 2002. One of his compositions was then performed by his daughter Anoushka Shankar.

The sitar legend’s final appearance here came as part of the 2005 BBC Proms season. Joined on stage by daughter Anoushka, the Shankars performed Sitar Concerto No.1 – this was the first performance of this work at the Proms.

Image gallery

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Full list of appearances at the Hall

21 October 1969
Gandhi Centenary Celebrations – attended by the High Commissioner Of India, Vanessa Redgrave, Mira Behn, Rt. Hon. Harold Wilson, H.R.H. The Prince Of Wales, Earl Mountbatten Of Burma. Performed alongside the City Of Birmingham Orchestra, India House Choir, Yehudi Menuhin and Alla Rakha.

22 August 1971
Ravi Shankar

14 December 1971
London Symphony Orchestra, Ravi Shankar and Andre Previn

28 October 1972
Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan and Alla Rakha

27 November 1973
Ravi Shankar with Alla Rakha

23 September 1974
Ravi Shankar Music Festival

2 November 1975
Ravi Shankar

15 January 1977
Ravi Shankar with Alla Rakha

20 January 1978
Ravi Shankar with Alla Rakha

15 October 1978
Ravi Shankar

14 October 1979
Ravi Shankar with Alla Rakha

23 September 1984
Ravi Shankar with Alla Rakha

3 April 1990
Ravi Shankar Seventieth Birthday Celebration in aid of Doctors’ Association for Medical Aid (UK) - featuring Yehudi Menuhin, Jean-Pierre Rampal (flute), Marielle Nordmann (harp) and Alla Rakha(table)

9 November 1993
Ravi Shankar Concert for Peace in aid of The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation

10 July 1997
A Celebration of 50 Years of Independence of India and Pakistan together with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh – attended by HRH The Prince of Wales, High Commissioners for India, Pakistan. Ravi Shakar introduced The Ravi Shaker Trio.

19 November 2002
A Concert For George – featuring Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Ray Cooper, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers etc

3 August 2005
BBC Proms – alongside Anoushka Shankar and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Performed ‘Sitar Concerto No.1’ (first performance of the work at the Proms) and ‘Sandhya (evening) Ragas’