Legendary Hindustani classical musician 'Ma' Annapurna Devi passes away

She passed away at 3.51 am. She was suffering from age-related issues for the past few years, hospital officials said.
Annapurna Devi passed away at the age of 91. (Photo| Youtube screen grab)
Annapurna Devi passed away at the age of 91. (Photo| Youtube screen grab)

MUMBAI: Doyenne of Hindustani classical music Annapurna Devi passed away here in the early hours on Saturday. She was 92 and had been suffering of old age related issues for the past few years. Daughter of legendary maestro Ustad Alauddin Khan and Guru of eminent flautist Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Annapurna Devi was married to Pt. Ravi Shankar for 21 years. 

A devotee of Goddess Sharada, she passed away peacefully in the early hours at around 3:51 am, family sources have said. 'Ma', as she was popularly addressed, Annapurna Devi was born in Maihar, Madhya Pradesh to Ustad 'Baba' Allauddin Khan and Madina Begum in 1927. She was the youngest of four children; the world-renowned maestro, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan was her more visible sibling. 

Annapurna Devi learnt from her father, whose inestimable contribution to Indian music resulted in the Senia-Maihar gharana (style). Her training started early - at around five years old - and she graduated from the Sitar to her chosen instrument, the Surbahar. She remained a recluse for most of her life; much of her time was dedicated to teaching a small though select group of students. 

She was honoured with Padma Bhushan award for her contribution to the field of Hindustani Classical Music. Her students include Aashish Khan (Sarod), Amit Bhattacharya (Sarod), Bahadur Khan (Sarod), Basant Kabra (Sarod), Hariprasad Chaurasia (Bansuri), Jotin Bhattacharya (Sarod), Nikhil Banerjee (Sitar), Nityanand Haldipur (Bansuri), Peter Klatt (Sitar), Pradeep Barot (Sarod), Sandhya Phadke (Sitar), Saswatti Saha (Sitar), Sudhir Phadke (Sitar), Suresh Vyas (Sarod), and several others. 

She was married to maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar and had a son, Shubhendra 'Shubho' Shankar, who passed away in 1992. In 1982 she married Rooshikumar Pandya, a management consultant. Professor Pandya passed away in 2013.

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