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About Ronu Majumdar
Pandit Ronu Majumdar is a globally renowned, Grammy-nominated, and multiple award-winning Bansuri flutist from the Hindustani tradition of Indian classical music. He is also an Indo-world fusion music pioneer. A prolific recording artist in his own right, he has also worked with Ravi Shankar, Philip Glass, Ry Cooder, George Harrison, Michael Stipe, Bela Fleck, Trilok Gurtu, Asha Bhosle, R.D. Burman, Baaba Maal, and Jon Hassell. At home, his flute has been a near constant in Bollywood soundtracks since the early '90s. He is also a regular performer on Indian classical music stages, and he teaches in universities. He has recorded over 40 albums. His specialty instrument is the "shank bansuri", a three-foot-long flute that he designed -- he added an extra octave in the lower register. An innovative composer, he has also written many pieces in a fusion of Hindustani classical with other musical forms, including various African and Asian folk styles and new age.
Majumdar began studying music under the guidance of his father Dr. Bhanu Majumdar, and later studied vocal music with Pandit Laxman Prasad Jaipurwale, who convinced him to take up the flute. Majumdar won first prize at the All India Radio competition in 1981. He also received formal training from his guru Pandit Ravi Shankar. Majumdar's music comes directly from the Maihar Gharana, one of the primary and influential schools of Hindustani music since the beginning of the 20th century. Interestingly, his Bansuri flute has only been part of the canon since the mid-20th century, having been primarily considered a folk instrument previously.
Since his albums in India sold well, Majumdar found Western labels to release his music in Europe and the United States, including Magnasound, Biswas, Music & Words, and many others. His 1993 offering, Travellers Tale, was nominated as instrumental album of the year by several publications. Three years later, he was nominated for a Best World Album Grammy for his participation on Raga Aberi by Shankar with Zakir Hussain and Vikku Vinayakram. Some of his own widely celebrated recordings include Dil Padosi Hai, Rakhaal Chandra Maataal, Saaton Baar Bole Bansi, and Lady Astride the Tiger.
From 2001 on, he has released multiple albums per year on a wide host of labels. (In 2004 alone, he issued no less than six.) He has performed on every continent. Majumdar was awarded the Sangeet Natak Academi Award for his 2014 contribution to Hindustani Instrumental Music - Flute; he is also the subject of Films Division of India's documentary Bansuriwala. Majumdar is also a Guinness Book of World Records holder: He arranged for 5,378 flautists on one Indian stage called Venu Naad under the collective banner of Art of Living. ~ Thom Jurek
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