BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ON PT. HARIPRASAD CHAURASIA
internationally acclaimed flautist of India, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia is a very popular
and eminent artiste who is known for his outstanding contribution in popularising Indian
Classical Music abroad. His consummate artistry has distinguished him as the
greatestliving master of the North Indian bamboo Flute, acclaimed both at home and abroad.
Unlike many other great Indian artists, Pt. Chaurasia does not come from a family of musicians. Rather, music is the path he found for himself. Born on July 1, 1938 in Allahabad, he began his musical pursuit at the age of 15, learning classical vocal technique from Pt. Rajaram. Within a year, however, he had switched to flautist from Varanasi. He tutored under Pt. Bholanath for eight years. In 1957 barely out of his teens, he became a regular staff member of All India Radio in Cuttack, Orissa, where he worked both as a performer and as a music composer.
Transferred by All India Radio to Bombay in 1952, he received further guidance from surbahar player Shrimati Annapurna Devi, daughter of late Ustad Allaudin Khan, sister of Ali Akbart Khan, Under her guidance his music acquired a new depth and he left All India Radio to pursue his performing career.
Since that time Pt. Chaurasia has concertized internationally winning acclaim from the varied audiences and from fellow musicians like Yewhudi Menuhin and Jean Pierre Rampal, among others. In 1984, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to music, he was given the National Award of the Sangeet Natak Academy. Pt. Chaurasia tours regularly in the U.S. and Europe and was a featured artist in the U.S. Festival of India in 1985. He has made numerous recordings of north Indian Classical Music.
In 1990 the Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar was bestowed upon Pt. Chaurasia.
As a musician Pt. Chaurasua is a rare combination of innovator and traditionalist. He has significantly expanded the expressive possibilities of classical North Indian flute playing through his masterful blowing technique and his unique adaptation of alap and jor to the flute. He is immensely popular in India. According to the magazine " India Today ", " Chaurasia is among a few but growing classicists who have made a conscious effort to reach out and expand the audience for classical music." Pt. Chaurasia's horizons also extend beyond North Indian classical music to Indian Folk and popular music for many Indian films. The famous "Silsila" which he collaborated on with Pt. Shiv Kumar Sharma was a platinum disc in India, as was his experimental album "Eternity" which incorporated many western elements alongside of North Indian Classical ones.
Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia has recorded a compact disc at Oslo alongwith Western Artists John Mclaughlin and Jan Garbarek which has gained international popularity and was released by the ECM company.
In addition to his performance and composition, Pt. Chaurasia is a serious teacher with several dedicated classical students who are beginning to make their mark on the Indian concert stage.
For the first time in Indian History the year 1992 has seen a flautist, Pt. Hariprasad Chau rasia being awarded the Padma Bhushan and also the flute as an instrument gaining recognition.
Pt. Chaurasia has also been honoured by being the second recipient of the 'Konark Samman' awarded by the Orissa State Goverment in the year 1992.
In the year 1994, the Government of Uttar Pradesh had bestowed upon Panditji the 'Yash Bharati Sanman'.