Anoushka Shankar (अनुष्का शंकर), b. June 9, 1981, is a sitar player and composer from India. She is the daughter of Ravi Shankar, Indian sitar player, and Sukanya Shankar. She began playing sitar under her fathers guidance at the age of nine and blossomed into a wonderful musician worthy of her father's name. She is becoming increasingly known for not only her recital work but for her own classical Indian compositions.
When Anoushka was eight years old, her father began training her in the sitar. She gave a public performance at the age of thirteen; since then she has become a world famous sitar artist. Through her father, she is the half-sister of Grammy Award winner Norah Jones. After her mother reunited with Mr Shankar, from age seven on she lived in Encinitas, California, USA where she gave several charity performances as a teenager and graduated from the local public high school.
In an hour-long special on the US public TV network PBS she once explained that this is how she picked up her American accent, which according to her, her Indian fans find "cute".
In 1998, Anoushka played at a gala dinner for guests including British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, in recognition of which she was presented with a House of Commons Shield. In February 2000, Shankar became the first woman to perform at The Ramakrishna Centre in Calcutta. The Indian Television Academy, Asmi, and India Times chose her as one of four Women of the Year in India in 2003. In 2004 she was chosen as one of twenty Asian Heroes by the Asia edition of Time magazine.
Her album Rise was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Contemporary World Music category. This was Anoushka's second Grammy nomination. She also became the first Indian woman to perform at the Grammy Awards when she performed during the pre-telecast ceremony of the 48th awards.
She played sitar at the Concert for George, a memorial to George Harrison on the first anniversary of his death. The concert was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London on November 29, 2002.
Anoushka is a supporter of animal rights and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). She and her father appeared in a thirty-second public-service announcement against animal suffering.
Anoushka, in collaboration with Karsh Kale, has just released her most recent album, Breathing Under Water, a mind bending mix of classical sitar and electronica beats and melodies. Notable guest vocals include Norah Jones and Sting, while her father also performs in a sitar duet along with his daughter. The album was released on August 28, 2007.
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