Anoushka Shankar returns to Sydney once again, this time as a versatile and polished performer extending her natural talents in the use and exploration of India’s traditional instrument, the sitar.
Hailed as one of the best sitar players in the world, Anoushka Shankar has taken musical innovation to new heights, developing her skills with this ancient instrument and creating a very unique and intoxicating sound. In fact, success has earned her a multitude of Grammy nominations and accolades following the release of various albums and stardom as a concert performer worldwide.
Anoushka has come a long way since her last visit to Australia in 2010, At that time, she performed alongside her father, the legendary sitar maestro Ravi Shankar on his 90th Birthday farewell concert. He died two years later. Traces of You was released several months after the passing of her father. The album featured her half-sister Nora Jones as the sole vocal performer and earned Anoushka a fourth Grammy nomination in the World Music category.
Shankar’s training commenced at an early age, accompanying her father on the tanpura and continued as she traversed between London and Delhi, gaining experience as a sitar player. Father and daughter worked together and performed regularly as their respective schedules allowed. She championed her father’s compositions and developed his supreme qualities. As Beatle George Harrison observed at the time, “she became the music”.
Having released three albums of Indian classical music, Anoushka focused her energy on establishing herself as a solo concert performer, outside of her father’s ensemble. She toured globally playing an average of fifty to sixty concerts per year, collaborating with some of the world’s leading orchestras and artists as diverse as Sting, M.I.A. Joshua Bell, Herbie Hancock and making guest appearances at various festivals worldwide, including the BBC Proms in London. A concert entitled Passages, performed with American contemporary composer Phillip Glass, which brought to life her father’s album with the legendary composer at the Royal Albert Hall in August 2017, was well received.
In July 2015, Shankar released Home, her first purely classical album of Indian ragas, composed and produced by her. Anoushka continues to refine the sitar sound, and musical ideas she has become known for. She specially handpicks ensembles of musicians to perform cross-genre music, using her instincts to create a dynamic sense of contemporary – combining jazz, electronica, classical and flamenco.
Shankar will bring her latest album Land of Gold to life on stage at the Opera House accompanied by an extraordinary percussionist and hang player Manu Delago, who co-wrote the album. It is Anoushka’s personal response to the humanitarian trauma of refugees and displaced people fleeing conflict and poverty – using her music as a platform to speak out and make a difference in the world.
Anoushka Shankar will perform her latest album Land Of Gold at the Concert Hall, Sydney Opera House this Sunday 11th March 2018 from 8.30pm.