Unlike many other great Indian artistes, Pandit Chaurasia does not come from a family of musicians. Rather, music is a path he found for himself and struggled very hard to overcome all the hurdles that came his way to emerge successful with his sheer grit, sincerity, hard work, devotion and dedication. Born on July 1st, 1938 in Allahabad, he began his musical pursuit at the age of 15, learning classical vocal technique from Pandit Rajaram. Within a year, however, he had switched to flute playing, after hearing Pandit Bholanath, a noted flautist from Varanasi. He tutored under Pandit Bholanath for eight years. In 1957, barely out of his teens, he became regular staff artiste of All India Radio, Cuttack in Orissa, where he worked as performer as well as a composer. From hereon began his musical journey that took him all over the globe.
Transferred by AIR (All India Radio) Cuttack to Mumbai in 1960, he received further guidance from Surbahar player Shrimati Annapurna Devi, daughter of late Ustad Allaudin Khan and sister of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Under her guidance, his music acquired a new dimension and he left AIR to pursue his performing career.
Since that time, Pandit Chaurasia has been performing nationally and internationally, winning acclaim from varied audiences and fellow musicians like Yehudi Menuhin, Jean-Pierre Rampal, among others. Pandit Chaurasia tours regularly in the US and Europe and is a featured artiste in almost all major music festivals around the globe.
As a musician Pandit Chaurasia is a rare combination of an innovator and a traditionalist. He has significantly expanded the expressive possibilities of classical North Indian flute- playing through his masterful blowing technique and his unique adaptation of alaap and jod to the flute. He is an immensely popular artiste in India and abroad.
Pandit Chaurasia’s horizons also extend beyond North Indian Classical music to Indian folk and popular music and to western music as well.
Achievements and Recognition
A living heritage of Indian music based on the ancient Guru-shishya tradition. Established by flute maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia.