The annual award, instituted by the Maharashtra government, is given to individuals who have excelled in classical vocal or instrumental music, the minister said. Pandit Ram Narayan, 88, has been playing the sarangi since his childhood, and over the years acquired global acclaim for his music for which he was conferred Indias second higest civilian honour, Padma Vibhushan, in 2005. Pandit Ram Narayan popularized the bowed instrument sarangi as a solo concert instrument in Hindustani classical music and became the first internationally successful sarangi player. In 1944, All India Radio, Lahore, hired him as an accompanist for vocalists. He became a concert solo artist in 1956. He recorded solo albums and began to tour America and Europe in the 1960s.