Indian sitar player and composer Ravi Shankar was born Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury in Varanasi on 7 April 1920. He spent his youth touring India and Europe as a member of his brother's dance group. In 1938 he gave up dancing to study the sitar with Allauddin Khan until 1944. He then worked as a composer, and was music director at All India Radio in New Delhi from 1949 until 1956. From then on, he toured Europe and America playing Indian classical music, becoming the best-known Indian contemporary musician in the West. He wrote concerti for sitar and orchestra and befriended Yehudi Menuhin, George Harrison and Richard Bock.