Bengal singers, instrumentalists salute Ravi Shankar

Kolkata, Dec 12 (IANS) Renowned singers and instrumentalists from West Bengal mourned the demise of sitar maestro and composer Pandit Ravi Shankar.

He "was a legendary personality in the Indian and world music. His death will create a deep void in the world of music," noted sarod player Pandit Buddhadev Dasgupta told IANS.

"His most significant work was undoubtedly to popularise Indian classical music abroad," he said.

Ustad Rashid Khan, a known Indian classical musician in the Hindustani music tradition, said Ravi Shankar was a "great teacher" who inspired young singers and musicians.

"It is a great loss. He used to come and see performances of young singers or instrumentalists. That was something very unique which does not happen nowadays," Khan said.

To Tanmoy Bose, percussionist and tabla player, who has collaborated with Ravi Shankar for 13 years, the death was a "huge loss".

"He imbibed a lot from all of his travels abroad and collaborations with international musicians. This was reflected in his music which is known as fusion music of which he was a pioneer.

"He single-handedly popularised Indian music. Everyone knew about Ravi Shankar and Indian classical music."

According to Tagore songs exponent Dwijen Mukherjee, Shankar was the first music composer from India who did experimental works on fusion music. "He was a great musician as well as a great human being."

Noted tabla player percussionist Bickram Ghosh said: "It was because of him Indian music acquired a global presence.

"His spiritual connect with the audience was his core talent. His music cut across generations," Ghosh told IANS.

Tejendra Narayan Majumdar, one of the most popular and celebrated modern sarod players, described Shankar as the most "unique and versatile" musician.

"Wherever and whenever he worked in collaborative music, he did it by maintaining the purity of the Indian classical music," Majumdar said.