France bestowed Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters on Pandit Hariprasad, November 2010
French Distinction "Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters" conferred on Flautist
Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia.
On behalf of the French government, Ambassador of France to India, Mr Jérôme Bonnafont, conferred the distinction of Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres on Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia. The honour came in recognition of Pt. Chaurasia’s contribution towards the spread of Indian classical music in France and all over the world.
On this occasion, the book and CD set “Hariprasad Chaurasia and the art of improvisation” by Henri Tournier, Pt. Chaurasia’s French assistant at the Rotterdam Music Conservatory, was presented. It offers a discovery of Pandit Chaurasia’s extraordinary mastery of improvisation and also aims at guiding scholars, performers and composers endeavouring to explore this music to enrich their art. Works by artist Sujata Bajaj, whose paintings appear in this book, were also on display.
Over a lifetime of performances, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia has been honoured with several distinctions, including the national Sangeet Natak Academy award and the Padma Vibhushan. He has collaborated with many Western artists and composed music for a number of Indian films. He is the Artistic Director of the Indian Music Department of the Rotterdam Music Conservatory, where he has been teaching music for the past 15 years.
The French government distinction Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) is conferred on “persons who have distinguished themselves by their creativity in the field of art, culture and literature or for their contribution to the influence of arts in France and throughout the world.” Some noted Indian recipients of this honour in the past include Raghu Rai, the late Habib Tanveer, Upamanyu Chatterjee, and Ritu Beri.
For photos, please visit the photogallery.