Hariprasad Chaurasia
Chaurasia performing at the Rajarani Temple in Bhubaneswar, 2015.
Born (1938-07-01) 1 July 1938 (age 85)
Occupation(s)music director, flautist, composer
Years active1957–present
Musical career
GenresHindustani classical music, film score

Hariprasad Chaurasia (born 1 July 1938) is an Indian music director and classical flautist, who plays the bansuri,[1] in the Hindustani classical tradition.

Early life

Chaurasia was born in Allahabad (1938) (present day Prayagraj) in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.[2] 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.[3]

He has stated,

I was not any good at wrestling. I went there only to please my father. But maybe because of his strength and stamina, I'm able to play the bansuri even to this day.[4]

— Hariprasad Chaurasiaa
Hariprasad Chaurasiya in concert, accompanied by Udai Mazumdar of Benares Gharana


Hari Prasad and Rakesh Chaurasia in concert

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.[2][5] 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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8] 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 Zakir Hussain.

He serves as the artistic director of the World Music Department at the Rotterdam Music Conservatory in the Netherlands[citation needed]. 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.[9]

He has collaborated with several western musicians, including John McLaughlin, Jan Garbarek, and Ken Lauber, and has composed music for Indian films.[10] Chaurasia also played on The Beatles' 1968 B-side "The Inner Light", which was written by George Harrison.[11] 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.[12]

Personal life

Chaurasia has married twice, first to Kamala Devi[13] and then Anuradha Roy.[3][14] 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.[15] His nephew Rakesh Chaurasia is also a flautist and carrying forward the family legacy.[16][17]

In popular culture

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.[18][19]




This section of a biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately from the article and its talk page, especially if potentially libelous.Find sources: "Hariprasad Chaurasia" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (June 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this message)

These are major albums released by Hariprasad Chaurasia

Pandit ji Performing at Rajarani Music Fest 2015, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
With Ustad Zakir Hussain (2012)

Ajanma - Hariprasad Chaurasia (Solo album)

Year unknown
With Zakir Hussain
Contributing artist

Music for Bollywood films

Along with Shivkumar Sharma he composed music for

Music for Telugu films

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.[citation needed]

Music for English films

Some of his music is used in Mithaq Kazimi's 16 Days in Afghanistan.


  1. ^ "Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia performs in Hyderabad". The Times of India. 26 September 2009. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012.
  2. ^ a b Datta, Madhumita (2008). Let's Know Music and Musical Instruments of India. Star Publications. p. 64. ISBN 978-1905863297.
  3. ^ a b Kalidas, S (6 July 1998). "Flamboyant Flautist". India Today. Archived from the original on 16 January 2016. Retrieved 23 November 2008.
  4. ^ Calamur, Harini (1 July 2015). "From akhadas to concerts, the journey of flute maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia". DNA India. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  5. ^ a b Kumar, Raj (2003). Essays on Indian Music. Discovery Publishing House. p. 220. ISBN 978-8171417193.
  6. ^ "Learning from the master: Corporate lessons from flute maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia". Firstpost.com. 9 April 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Kavita Chhibber". Kavita Chhibber. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Enchantment from Eden valley". The Hindu. 6 April 2000. Archived from the original on 9 January 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  9. ^ Manjari Sinha (22 April 2016). "Blown away by the master". The Hindu. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  10. ^ "I just pick up the flute and feel the urge to play". archive.is. 30 July 2012. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  11. ^ Ray Chowdhury, Tathagata (26 January 2015). "Bansuri innovator ignored in city". The Times of India. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  12. ^ "The Beatles Bible - Recording: Wonderwall Music by George Harrison". The Beatles Bible. 10 January 1968. Retrieved 5 September 2020.
  13. ^ "Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia's first wife, sons left out of biopic". The Times of India. 14 April 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  14. ^ "Teaching the wind to sing: Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia on blowing life into a reed". The Indian Express. 1 October 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  15. ^ "A step forward in promotion of classical music". The Hindu. 22 March 2010. Archived from the original on 31 March 2010.
  16. ^ "Striking the right note". The Hindu. 3 April 2003. Archived from the original on 4 July 2003. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Tuneful tips: Rakesh Chaurasia". The Hindu. 17 August 2004. Archived from the original on 29 August 2004. Retrieved 19 November 2019.
  18. ^ Pau, Debjani (14 January 2013). "Real story of flute maestro now captured in reel". Indian Express. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  19. ^ "Weaving melody with the divine flute". The New Indian Express. 15 January 2013. Archived from the original on 23 November 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2013.
  20. ^ a b "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  21. ^ Satapathy, Rajaram (10 October 2009). "Hariprasad Chaurasia gets Akshaya Samman". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 12 February 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  22. ^ "सूरब्रह्माचा उपासक". Maharashtra Times (in Marathi). 22 July 2022. Retrieved 30 July 2022.
  23. ^ Hariprasad Chaurasia, romance of the bamboo reed : a biography. OCLC 62733072.ISBN 8-1829-0042-5, 978-8-1829-0042-4
  24. ^ "Hariprasad Chaurasia & the Art of Improvisation by Hariprasad Chausaria, Henri Tournierc". Amazon.co.uk. 6 December 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h "Bansuri - Hari Prasad Chaurasia (vol 9)". Mumpress.com. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  26. ^ a b c d e f g h "Bansuri - Hari Prasad Chaurasia (vol 16)". Mumpress.com. Retrieved 15 January 2016.