Anoushka Shankar to perform at Luther April 10

March 24, 2010

Anoushka Shankar, musician, author, actress and composer, will bring the music of India to the Center Stage Series at Luther College Saturday, April 10, 7:30 p.m. in the Center for Faith and Life.

Tickets are on sale at the Luther College Box Office, (563) 387-1357, open 9-10:30 a.m. and 11a.m.-3 p.m. on weekdays with extended hours on Thursdays until 7 p.m.

Tickets may also be purchased online at Tickets are $23, $21 for seniors age 65 and over, and $15 for youth ages 4-18.

Her performance, “Sudakshini, a musical journey from North to South India by the Anoushka Shankar Project,” will feature Shankar on sitar, the plucked stringed instrument widely used in the music of India since the middle Ages. A touring group of four musicians will join Shankar for the performance: Tanmoy Bose, tabla; Ravichandra Kulur, flute and kanjira;  Pirashanna Thevarajah, mridangam; and Nick Able, tanpura.

Shankar has emerged as one of the leading figures in World Music today. She is deeply rooted in Indian classical music, having studied exclusively with her father, the legendary Ravi Shankar, and is now one of the foremost performers in that tradition.

Featured on the first cover of the Indian version of Rolling Stone magazine, she has flourished as a performer and composer, exploring the crossover between Indian music and a variety of genres including electronica, jazz, flamenco and Western classical music.

Shankar has been playing and studying the sitar with her father since she was nine. At age 13 she made her performance debut in New Delhi. That same year, Shankar entered the recording studio for the first time, to play “Adarini” on her father’s album “In Celebration.”

Two years later she made her debut as a conductor on her father’s “Chants Of India” album, produced by George Harrison. Shortly thereafter she signed an exclusive record contract with Angel/EMI, and in the autumn of 1998 her first solo recording, “Anoushka,” was released to critical acclaim.

“Anourag” (2000), Anoushka’s second release, expanded upon and refined what she had previously recorded, and was followed by “Live at Carnegie Hall” (2001), which garnered her first Grammy nomination, making her the youngest-ever nominee in the World Music category.

Shankar conducted “Arpan” written by her father, which featured Eric Clapton on solo guitar at the “Concert for George,” a tribute to the late George Harrison. She also performed Harrison’s “The Inner Light” that evening.

In 2002 she authored the book ­“Bapi: The Love of My Life,” an intimate biographical portrait of her father. She earned a best supporting actress nomination in 2004 from India’s National Film Awards for her debut role in “Dance Like a Man,” the feature film by Pamela Rooks. She was chosen as one of 20 Asian Heroes by the Asia edition of Time magazine in 2004 and subsequently became the first Indian ambassador for the United Nations World Food Programme.

On “Rise,” her fourth album, she composed, arranged and produced her own music, performing with an ensemble of brilliant musicians. “Rise” earned Shankar another Grammy nomination in the best contemporary world music category. In 2006 she became the first Indian to play at the Grammy Awards.

Shankar toured extensively in the wake of the album, forming “The Anoushka Shankar Project” to present her new non-classical ensemble compositions to a live audience. This group consists of instrumentalists from various musical styles, with changing personnel; the music always draws deeply from India’s rich musical heritage, but the group serves also to maintain a clear distinction between this more experimental work of hers and her classical Indian concerts.

In 2007, she collaborated with Karsh Kale, the Indian-American producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist, to jointly create the album “Breathing Under Water,” which features a rare guest appearance by her father, and well as contributions by her half-sister, Norah Jones, Sting and others.

She has also performed as the soloist in performances of her father’s first Concerto for Sitar and Orchestra. In January 2009 she was the sitar soloist alongside the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for the series of concerts premièring his third Concerto for Sitar and Orchestra.

For more information on the performances in the Center Stage Series, visit

To learn more about Anoushka Shankar visit her website at


Anoushka Shankar