Legendary musician Annapurna Devi passes away at 92

Legendary musician Annapurna Devi passes away at 92

One of the finest exponents of Hindustani classical music, Annapurna Devi, passed away on Saturday.

The 92-year-old was admitted to the Breach Candy Hospital because of old-age issues and passed away in the wee hours, according to the Annapurna Devi Foundation.A recipient of the coveted Padma Bhushan award, Annapurna was known as Ma and had disciples spread across the globe.

She was staying alone after the death of her husband, Rooshikumar Pandya, who died in 2013, aged 73.

Her first husband was late Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar. They were married from 1941-62, however, they separated.

Their son, Shubendra Shankar, died in 1992.

Over the years she had had notable disciples including Hariprasad Chaurasia, Nityanand Haldipur, Nikhil Banerjee, Amit Bhattacharya, Pradeep Barot, Sudhir Phadke, Sandhya Apte and Saswatti Saha.

Born Roshanara Khan, in 1927, she was daughter of Allaudin Khan, the founder of Maihar gharana.

She was given the name ‘Annapurna’ by former Maharaja Brijnath Singh of the former Maihar Estate (Madhya Pradesh).

Her uncles, Fakir Aftabuddin Khan and Ayet Ali Khan, were noted musicians at their native place Shibpur, in the present-day Bangladesh.

Her brother Ali Akbar Khan was a legendary Sarod maestro and was considered a “national living treasure” in India and the USA.

Annapurna Devi became a very accomplished surbahar (bass sitar) player of the Maihar gharana (school) within a few years of starting to take music lessons from her father Alauddin Khan.