|Born||1 July 1938|
Allahabad, United Provinces, British India
(Present-day Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, India)
|Genres||Hindustani classical music, film score|
|Occupation(s)||music director, flautist, composer|
Hariprasad Chaurasia (born 1 July 1938) is an Indian film music director and classical flautist, who plays the BANSURI (traditional flute), in the Hindustani classical tradition.
Chaurasia was born on Allahabad (1938) (officially called Prayagraj) in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. His mother died when he was six years old. He had to learn music without his father's knowledge, as his father wanted him to become a wrestler. Chaurasia did go to the Akhada and trained with his father for some time, although he also started learning music and practising at his friend's house.
He has stated,
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.— Hariprasad Chaurasiaa
Chaurasia started learning vocal music from his neighbour, Rajaram, at the age of 15. Later, he switched to playing the flute under the tutelage of Bholanath Prasanna of Varanasi for eight years. He joined the All India Radio, Cuttack, Odisha in 1957 and worked as a composer and performer. Much later, while working for All India Radio, he received guidance from the reclusive Annapurna Devi, daughter of Baba Allaudin Khan. She only agreed to teach him if he was willing to unlearn all that he had learnt until then. Another version is that she only agreed to teach him after he took the decision to switch from right-handed to left-handed playing to show her his commitment. In any case Chaurasia plays left-handed to this day.
Apart from classical music, Hariprasad has collaborated with Shivkumar Sharma, forming a group called Shiv-Hari. The pair composed music for many popular movies, including Silsila and Chandni, and created some highly popular songs. Chaurasia also collaborated with Bhubaneswar Mishra, forming the pair "Bhuban-Hari" (in line with Shiv-Hari), and the pair composed music for many Odia movies, creating numerous songs that were hugely popular in the state. These include Muje janena kaha baata (sung by Suman Kalyanpur; movie: Gapa helebi Sata); and all songs from Maa o Mamata, and many more.
Chaurasia's nephew and pupil Rakesh Chaurasia is a highly accomplished flautist now, and has been performing globally with such eminent maestros as Ustad Zakir Hussain.
He serves as the artistic director of the World Music Department at the Rotterdam Music Conservatory in the Netherlands. He was also the founder of the Vrindavan Gurukul in Mumbai (opened 2006) and Vrindavan Gurukul in Bhubaneshwar (opened 2010). Both of these institutes are schools dedicated to training students in bansuri in the Guru-shishya tradition.
He has collaborated with several western musicians, including John McLaughlin, Jan Garbarek, and Ken Lauber, and has composed music for Indian films. Chaurasia also played on The Beatles' 1968 B-side "The Inner Light", which was written by George Harrison. He also played with George Harrison on his first solo release, Wonderwall Music, and with Harrison, Ravi Shankar and others on the Dark Horse Records release Shankar Family & Friends.
Chaurasia has married twice, first to Kamala Devi  and then Anuradha Roy. He has three sons. With first wife Kamala Devi he has two sons, Vinay and Ajay. With Anuradha, Chaurasia has a son named Rajeev. Chaurasia has five granddaughters and a grandson. His nephew Rakesh Chaurasia is also a flautist and carrying forward the family legacy.
The 2013 documentary film Bansuri Guru features the life and legacy of Chaurasia and was directed by the musician's son Rajeev Chaurasia and produced by the Films Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.
These are major albums released by Hariprasad Chaurasia
Ajanma - Hariprasad Chaurasia (Solo album)
Along with Shivkumar Sharma he composed music for
The music for the film Sirivennela was composed by K. V. Mahadevan which revolves around the role of Hari Prasad, a blind flautist played by Sarvadaman Banerjee and flute renditions by Chaurasia.
Some of his music is used in Mithaq Kazimi's 16 Days in Afghanistan.