Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia is an internationally renowned world class flautist from India. He is credited with popularising Indian Classical music in India and abroad through various experiments and innovations he made with the traditional music.
Born on July 1, 1938 in Allahabad, to a family of wrestlers he was drawn to the sound of the flute even as a small child. He began learning classical vocal music from Pandit Rajaram at the age of 15. Within a year, he switched to flute-playing after hearing Pandit Bholanath, a noted flautist from Varanasi on Radio. He tutored under Pandit Bholanath for eight years and in 1957, moved to Orissa where he became a staff artiste working as a performer and composer for All India Radio in Cuttack, Orissa. He met his wife of 39 years, Anuradha an established singer, there.
Later he was transferred to All India Radio, Mumbai. There he met renowned Surbahar player Annapurna Devi his 'Guruma' and trained under her. She is the daughter of late Ustad Allauddin Khan and sister of famous Sarod player Ali Akbar Khan. He left All India Radio to pursue a career as a flautist and from then on there has been no looking back for him.
He travels around the world giving concerts residing in Holland for almost half a year and making it a point to be at home in Mumbai, India for his 24-hour recital on the 'Janmashtami' day (Lord Krishna's birthday). He has performed with greats like Yehudi Menuhin, John McLaughlin and Jean Pierre Rampal and as a part of his experimentation, he has tried pop, jazz, rock, western classical fusions with the traditional Indian music. He has also released many albums of his compositions and done film music with his friend and Santoor exponent Pandit Shivkumar Sharma for films like 'Silsila', 'Darr' and others earning mass appeal.
In 1984, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to music, he received the National Award of the Sangeet Natak Academy. In 1990, he was awarded the 'Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar', in 1992, the coveted 'Padma Bhushan' and the 'Konarak Samman' by the Orissa state government. In 1994, he was bestowed the 'Yash Bharati Sanman' by Uttar Paradesh government. This immensely popular humble artiste also gives training to several dedicated students.