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Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia
Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia
Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia
Name : Hariprasad Chaurasia
DOB : 1 July 1938 (Allahabad)
Profession : Composer & Flute Player
Family : Wives: Kamla Chaurasia(Deceased), Anuradha (Present), Children With Kamla: Ajay (Son), Vinay Chaurasia (Son), Children With Anuradha: Rajiv (Son)
Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia is an Indian & world-renowned classical instrumentalist and flute player.  He is well known as a player of the bansuri (a bamboo flute) and his efforts as an instrumentalist and flute player have reached audience with his exceptional music.

Hariprasad Chaurasia was born on 1 July 1938 in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.  His father was a wrestler and his mother died when he was very young.  His father wanted Chaurasia to become a wrestler like him but Chaurasia was very much interested in music and he used to learn music without letting & telling his father about it.  His father trained him with the basics at Akhada for some time and he also started learning & practicing the music at one of his friend’s house.  He first married Kamla Chaurasia and has two sons Ajay and Vinay Chaurasia.  Later he married Anuradha who is a classical vocalist and the couple got blessed with a son Rajiv.

Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia when his age was around 15, he started learning the vocal music from his neighbour Pt. Rajaram.  Later he started learning and playing the flute under the guidance of Pandit Bholanath Prasanna at Varanasi.  While he was working for AIR (All India Radio) he met Annapurna Devi (daughter of Baba Allaudin Khan) and received the guidance for playing the India classical music.  He has the rare combination of innovation and traditionalism inside him.  Also through his excellent and masterful blowing technique he has expanded the different tunes and expressive possibilities of bansuri. 

He collaborated with many world musicians in the experimental cross-cultural performances in which one of them includes the fusion group Shakti.  He is also the Artistic Director of the World Music Department at the famous Rotterdam Music Conservatory, Netherlands.  He has a good music and personal relationship with the western musicians like John McLaughlin, Jan Garbarek etc.  He also performed through out the world and has won many accolades and acclaims from his fellow musicians like Yehudi Menuhin and Jean-Pierre Rampal and many audiences.

In one of his statements about the training in wrestling and about his stamina and lung power he stated that “I was not any good at wrestling. I went there only to please my father. But maybe because of the strength and stamina I built up then, I'm able to play the bansuri even to this day.”

There are two books released on his favor one of them was released on 1 July 2008 is the official biography “Woodwinds of Change” by Surjit Singh and the other one was “Hariprasad Chaurasia and the Art of Improvisation” by Henri Tournier.  Pt. Chaurasia also composed music for few Indian films as a music director and has made his mark along with another music legend Pandit ShivKumar Sharma and the duo are known as "Shiv-Hari".  Some of the music composed bollywood films are: Chandni, Darr, Lamhe, Silsila etc.  In one of the Telugu movie ‘Sirivennela’ a role of blind flautist was inspired by Pandit Hariprasad and the flute renditions in the movie are given by this legend.

•  1984 – Sangeet Natak Academy Award
•  1992 – Konark Award
•  1992 – was awarded “Padma Bhushan” by the Government of India
•  1994 – Yash Bharati Award
•  2000 – was awarded “Padma Vibhushan” by the Government of India
•  2000 – Hafiz Ali Khan Award
•  2000 – Dinanath Mangeshkar Award
•  2008 – Pune Pandit Award by The Art & Music Foundation, Pune, India
•  2008 – Honored by Dutch Royal family at Amsterdam and was conferred with the title Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau (“officier in de Orde van Oranje-Nassau”)
•  2009 – National Eminence award (NADA VIDYA BHARTI) by Visakha Music and Dance Academy, Vizag
•  2009 – Knight in the Order of Arts and Letter (“Ordres des Arts et Lettres”) by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of France
•  2009 – Honorary Doctorate by the North Orissa University for his contribution to the world of Indian Classical Music
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