Journey of the Master

Unlike many other great Indian artistes, Pandit Chaurasia does not come from a family of musicians. Rather, music is a path he found for himself and struggled very hard to overcome all the hurdles that came his way to emerge successful with his sheer grit, sincerity, hard work, devotion and dedication. Born on July 1st, 1938 in Allahabad, he began his musical pursuit at the age of 15, learning classical vocal technique from Pandit Rajaram. Within a year, however, he had switched to flute playing, after hearing Pandit Bholanath, a noted flautist from Varanasi. He tutored under Pandit Bholanath for eight years. In 1957, barely out of his teens, he became regular staff artiste of All India Radio, Cuttack in Orissa, where he worked as performer as well as a composer. From hereon began his musical journey that took him all over the globe.

Transferred by AIR (All India Radio) Cuttack to Mumbai in 1960, he received further guidance from Surbahar player Shrimati Annapurna Devi, daughter of late Ustad Allaudin Khan and sister of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. Under her guidance, his music acquired a new dimension and he left AIR to pursue his performing career.

Since that time, Pandit Chaurasia has been performing nationally and internationally, winning acclaim from varied audiences and fellow musicians like Yehudi Menuhin, Jean-Pierre Rampal, among others. Pandit Chaurasia tours regularly in the US and Europe and is a featured artiste in almost all major music festivals around the globe.

As a musician Pandit Chaurasia is a rare combination of an innovator and a traditionalist. He has significantly expanded the expressive possibilities of classical North Indian flute- playing through his masterful blowing technique and his unique adaptation of alaap and jod to the flute. He is an immensely popular artiste in India and abroad.

Pandit Chaurasia’s horizons also extend beyond North Indian Classical music to Indian folk and popular music and to western music as well.


Achievements and Recognition

  • 2012

    Sangeet Natak Academy Fellowship Award
  • 2011

    Honorary Doctorate, IIT Kharagpur
    Honorary Doctorate, Utkal University, Odisha
  • 2008

    Honorary Doctorate, North Orissa University
    Ordres des Arts et Lettres, France
    Officier in de Orde van Oranje, Nassau, Netherlands
  • 2004

    Master Dinanath Mangeshkar Award
  • 2000

    Padma Vibhushan
    Ustad Hafiz Ali Khan Award
  • 1999

    Kalidas Samman
  • 1994

    Yash Bharti Samman
  • 1992

    Konark Samman
    Padma Bhushan
  • 1990

    The Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar
  • 1984

    The Sangeet Natak Academy Award

Vrindaban Gurukul

A living heritage of Indian music based on the ancient Guru-shishya tradition. Established by flute maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia.