Indian music legend Pandit Shiv Dayal Batish died peacefully on July 29 in Santa Cruz, California, after suffering from congestive heart failure, an illness he fought for nearly two years. He was 91.
A master of several instruments and vocal styles in North Indian music tradition, Batish maintained a strong presence in the Indian music scene for decades. He moved to California in 1970 to teach music at the University of California Santa Cruz and remained there until his death. It was at his home in Santa Cruz that he wrote some of his greatest works and founded the Batish Institute of Indian Music and Fine Arts. He will be greatly missed by students and fans for his dedication to integrating Indian music and culture into the world. His son, Ashwin Batish said in a public announcement: “It was his wish to never stop reaching out to spread the musical word. He often said, ‘With music you no longer need to try going to heaven, you are already there!’”
He is survived by his wife Smt. Shanta Devi Batish, five children and several grandchildren. His family will continue to spread the teachings of the beloved S.D. Batish, as well as work to archive all of his music and memorabilia at their home in Santa Cruz.