Hariprasad Chaurasia

Hariprasad Chaurasia

Most Popular

Birth Sign

Hariprasad Chaurasia is a world-renowned Indian flautist who is most recognized for popularizing Indian classical music. He is regarded as one of the best masters of the North Indian Bamboo flute and is a living legend. He has worked as a music director for several films and was even featured in one of the English rock band The Beatles’ recordings. He is well-known not only in his native country but also in the Western world. He came from a family with little interest in music, unlike many other musicians who come from musically interested families. He was expected to follow in his father’s footsteps as the son of a wrestler. Hariprasad, on the other hand, had other ideas. He began practicing classical voice technique in defiance of his father, who did not want his son to become a musician. However, after meeting a well-known flautist, he turned to the flute, a decision that would eventually bring him to his true calling. His early years as a musician were difficult, but after he established himself in the realm of Indian classical music, he was unstoppable. Many notable honors have been bestowed upon him, including the Padma Vibhushan for his contributions to the arts.

Childhood and Adolescence

Hariprasad Chaurasia was born in Allahabad, India, on July 1, 1938. His father was a professional wrestler. Sadly, his mother passed away when he was just six years old. His father wished for him to follow in his footsteps as a wrestler and even arranged for him to receive training in this area. Hariprasad’s true love, on the other hand, was elsewhere, and he had to follow it without his father’s knowledge. Despite the fact that no one in his family was musically gifted, he had an inborn affinity for music.

He was so taken with music that when he was 15, he began covertly learning classical vocal technique from his next-door neighbor, Pandit Rajaram. He met Pandit Bholanath Prasanna of Varanasi, a well-known flautist, and was greatly influenced by him. He switched to the flute and practiced for the following eight years under his supervision. Despite the fact that he was not meant to be a wrestler, the early wrestling instruction he received helped him develop stamina and lung force, which aided him in his musical career as a flautist.

Career of Hariprasad Chaurasia

In 1957, he became a regular staff performer at All India Radio (AIR) in Cuttack, Odisha. He played the flautist and composed music while he was there. In 1960, he was sent to Mumbai by AIR Cuttack. While in Mumbai, he met Annapurna Devi, the daughter of Baba Allaudin Khan, a Surbahar player, and asked her to train him. She consented on the condition that he play left-handed instead of right-handed. He did, and she was there to help him. Under Annapurna Devi’s tuition, he excelled as a flautist. Soon after, the ambitious young guy quit AIR to seek a career on his own.

He built a name for himself as a renowned flautist throughout the years, not just in India but also worldwide, because to his natural skill, passion for music, and determination.  During the 1960s, he paired up with Shivkumar Sharma, a Santoor player, and they performed as ‘Shiv-Hari.’ They collaborated on Indian classical music pieces as well as musical scores for Hindi films.

In 1967, Shiv-Hari released the album ‘Call of the Valley.’ Brij Bhushan Kabra, a guitarist, was also featured on the album, which went on to become a huge hit in both India and Western countries. He played on the B-Side of The Beatles’ single ‘Lady Madonna’, which featured the song ‘The Inner Light.’ He participated on an instrumental recording that was recorded in Mumbai in 1968.

He went on a world tour, performing in many countries and popularizing Indian classical music. Not only from foreign audiences, but also from fellow artists such as Yehudi Menuhin and Jean-Pierre Rampal, he garnered international praise. He was a specialist in North Indian classical music, but he also played folk and popular music. He wrote music for various Indian films as part of the Shiv-Hari duet, including ‘Silsila,’ ‘Lamhe,’ ‘Chandni,’ and ‘Parampara.’

In 2006 and 2010, he established the Vrindavan Gurukul in Mumbai and Bhubaneshwar, respectively. Both institutes are committed to teaching Hindustani Bansuri to students in the Guru-shishya tradition. Rakesh Chaurasia, Vivek Sonar, and Himanshu Nanda, among his protégés, have gone on to become well-known flautists in their own right.

Achievements & Awards

For his contributions to the realm of arts, he received the Padma Bhushan Award, India’s third highest civilian honor, in 1992. In 2000, he received the Padma Vibushan, India’s second highest civilian award, for his outstanding contributions to the country’s arts. In 2009, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of France honored him as a Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters in recognition of his substantial contribution to the development of culture in France and around the world.

Personal History and Legacy

Because he married twice, the great flautist’s personal life is highly contentious. Kamala Devi was his first wife, whom he married in 1957. He married Anuradha ‘Angurbala’ Roy after a while. He has two kids with Kamala, Ajay and Vinay, and one son with Anuradha, Rajeev.

Estimated Net Worth

Hariprasad is one of the wealthiest Flute Players and one of the most well-known Flute Players. Hariprasad Chaurasia’s net worth is estimated to be $1.5 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.