Hariprasad Chaurasia

The Bansuri Guru!


Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, an internationally acclaimed flautist is also an Indian music director known for his extraordinary contribution to popularising Indian classical music throughout the world.

Pt. Hariprasad started his career at 15 with vocal music initially but later switched to playing the flute under the tutelage of Bholanath Prasanna for eight years.

He worked as a composer and performer with All India Radio in Cuttack, Odisha, and later was transferred to Mumbai where he received guidance from the reclusive Surbahar player late Annapurna Devi, giving his music a completely new dimension.

Pt. Hariprasad has also made a mark as a music director for Bollywood films along with Shivkumar Sharma, forming a group called Shiv-Hari. They composed music for films like Chandni,  Silsila, Darr, Lamhe, Faasle, Vijay and Sahibaan.

He also collaborated with Bhubaneswar Mishra, forming the pair Bhuban-Hari and together they composed music for many Odia films, creating countless songs that were very popular in the state.

The 2013 documentary film Bansuri Guru features the life & legacy of  Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, which was directed by the musician's son Rajeev Chaurasia & produced by the Films Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.

He was also the founder of the Vrindavan Gurukul, schools dedicated to training students in bansuri in the Guru-Shishya tradition. in Mumbai and in Bhubaneshwar.

Pt. Hariprasad has been performing nationally and internationally, has worked with legendary artists including John McLaughlin, Jan Garbarek & Ken Lauber, and won acclaim from varied audiences and fellow musicians like Yehudi Menuhin, Jean-Pierre Rampal, among others.

He has two books based on his life & contribution, his official biography ‘Woodwinds of Change’ by Surjit Singh  & 'Hariprasad Chaurasia and the Art of Improvisation', by Henri Tournier.

Awards and accomplishments

Awards and accomplishments

  • Pt. Hariprasad received the ‘Sangeet Natak Academy Award’ in 1984 and ‘Sangeet Natak Academy Fellowship Award’ in 2012.
  • He was conferred with the ‘Padma Bhushan’ the third-highest civilian award in 1992.
  • Pt. Hariprasad was bestowed with the ‘Padma Vibhushan’  the second-highest civilian award in 2000.
  • He received the ‘Master Dinanath Mangeshkar Award’ in 2004.
  • He received an honorary doctorate from North Orissa University in 2008, and from IIT Kharagpur & Utkal University, Odisha in 2011.
  • Pt. Hariprasad received ‘Pandit Chatur Lal Excellence Award’ in 2015.
  • He was featured in the list of ‘The 25 Greatest Global Living Legends In India’ by NDTV in 2013.
  • He was presented with the ‘Gansamradni Lata Mangeshkar Award’ in 2022.
  • He was honoured by the Dutch Royal family at Amsterdam & was conferred with the title ‘Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau’ and was honored by the then Princess Maxima.
  • He serves as the artistic director of the World Music Department at the Rotterdam Music Conservatory in the Netherlands.

Why Hariprasad Chaurasia?

Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia as a musician is a rare combination of an innovator and a traditionalist. Through his excellent blowing technique and his unique application of alaap and jod to the flute, he has substantially increased the expressive capabilities of classical North Indian flute-playing. He is an immensely popular artist in India and abroad performing at practically all major music festivals across the world and tours frequently in the United States and Europe. 

Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia’s horizons also extend beyond North Indian Classical music to Indian folk and popular music and to Western music as well. He has not only taken the flute to hitherto uncharted territory but is also a renowned composer, having created unforgettable immortal songs for several hit films. With his wonderful sense of humor and an engaging informal persona, he instantly puts everyone at ease and charms magnificently.

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