Vasant Rai

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Vasant Rai
Died1985 (aged 43)
New York City, United States
GenresIndian classical music

Vasant Rai (1942–1985) was a Sarod player.

Personal life and education[edit]

Rai's family was from a small town in India called Unjha and he was born in Paris, France. Rai was the last student of Allauddin Khan, who is best known as the teacher of Ravi Shankar.

He died in his New York apartment shortly after a Carnegie Hall performance.[1]


Rai had been visiting the United States since his teen years. He settled in New York City in 1969 and lived mainly in the Greenwich Village area and also for a short time at the Chelsea Hotel when he was not touring. From 1969 to 1985, he conducted the Alam School of Music in Greenwich Village. Alla Rakha, Mahapurush Mishra, Shamta Prasad and Zakir Hussain usually accompanied him on the tabla.

Rai had been signed exclusively by Vanguard Records from 1975 to 1982. Vasant's first commercial recording was by EMI and on the tabla was Alla Rakha.

Vasant Rai's sarod was a gift from his guru Allauddin Khan, and was made by Allauddin Khan's younger brother Ayet Ali Khan in the 1930s.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Vasant Rai biography and interview". Retrieved 2012-04-04.