Hailed an Asian Hero by TIME magazine, sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar is a singular figure in the Indian classical and world music scenes. Her dynamic and spiritual musicality has garnered six Grammy Award nominations, recognition as the youngest – and first female – recipient of a British House of Commons Shield, and a Songlines Best Artist Award. Most recently, she became one of the first five female composers to have been added to the UK A-level music syllabus.
Deeply rooted in the Indian classical music tradition, she studied exclusively from the age of nine under her father and guru, the late Ravi Shankar, and made her professional debut as a classical sitarist at the age of 13. By the age of 20, she had made three classical recordings for EMI/Angel and received her first Grammy nomination, thereby becoming the first Indian female and youngest-ever nominee in the World Music category. In 2011, Shankar signed to Deutsche Grammophon, heralding a fertile creative period, which was rewarded with three further consecutive Grammy nominations. Traveller was a critically hailed exploration of Indian classical music and Spanish flamenco. This was followed by Traces of You, produced by Nitin Sawhney and featuring Anoushka’s half-sister Norah Jones on vocals, and Home, a purely Indian classical album, where she returned to the ragas her father had taught her. Her latest album, Land of Gold, is her personal response to the humanitarian trauma of displaced people fleeing conflict and poverty. Through her bold and collaborative approach as a composer, Anoushka has encouraged cross-cultural dialogue whilst demonstrating the versatility of the sitar across musical genres.
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