He is an internationally acclaimed Sitar maestro. He has been responsible in taking Indian classical music to the world over. He established the Kiunara School of music in Los Angeles in 1967. He has played music in some of the most well known concert halls in the world and has been given international awards like the International Music Vensco Award, Magsaysay Award, etc. He was given the Bharat Ratna and was made a fellow at the prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy. He was the Director of Music at All India Radio during 1949-55 and has written an autobiography called 'My Life and My Music'. He has three children and his two daughters Norah Jones and Anoushka Shankar are well known artists in their own musical fields.