Sarangi maestro Pandit Ram Narayan has been chosen for the prestigious Bharat Ratna Pandit Bhimsen Joshi classical music award for 2015-2016, Maharashtra's Cultural Affairs Minister Vinod Tawde announced here on Wednesday.
The annual award, instituted by the Maharashtra government, is given to individuals who have excelled in classical vocal or instrumental music, the minister said.
The award, finalised by a committee of top music artistes and exponents, comprises Rs.5 lakh in cash, a trophy and a citation.
Pandit Ram Narayan, 88, has been playing the sarangi since his childhood, and over the years acquired global acclaim for his music for which he was conferred India's second higest civilian honour, Padma Vibhushan, in 2005.
He popularised the bowed instrument as a solo concert instrument in Indian classical music and is considered the first sarangi player who became successful in the international arena.
Born in Udaipur, he shifted to New Delhi after Partition and gave performances on All India Radio in the national capital.
In 1949, Pandit Ram Narayan shifted base to Mumbai and over the years gave solo performances all over India and many other countries, besides teaching hundreds of Indian and foreign students.