Hariprasad Chaurasia is an accomplished Indian Classical flautist. Son of a wrestler, Chaurasia began learning vocal music from his neighbor, Pandit Rajaram, as a teenager. Later, he switched to playing the flute under the tutelage of Pandit Bholanath Prasanna of Varanasi for eight years. He joined the All India Radio, Cuttack, Odisha in 1957 and worked as a composer and performer.
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 switched from right-handed to left-handed playing. Till date, he plays the flute left-handed.
If Chaurasia is more earthly than many of his peers, it is probably down to his background. Indian classical music is a family business: father hands on tradition to son. Chaurasia is a first generation musician with a will of iron to perspire, persist and inspire.
In spite of having achieved so much, the maestro is still giving back to the world through his own music and by nurturing outstanding talent in his school Brindavan, which is based on the gurukul system.
"My religion is my music.
Lord Krishna is my God.
Whenever I want to pray, whenever I want to meditate and concentrate, I take my flute.
I can feel God."
- Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia