Anoushka Shankar is an Indian sitar player and composer, and daughter of Ravi Shankar. She was awarded Woman of the Year in 2003. She was Named as one of 20 Asian Heroes by the Asia edition of Time in 2004. She was nominated for a Grammy award in 2003 and 2005. In 2012 she won Best Artist in the Songlines Music Award for her album Traveller.
She lives between the United States, United Kingdom, and India. She is married to British director Joe Wright ans have a child named Zubin Shankar Wright.
Anoushka Shankar was born in London on 9 June 1981 to Indian sitar maestro Pt. Ravi Shankar and Sukanya Shankar.
She began training on the sitar with her father as a child, with practice consisting of just a couple of sessions a week at the age of ten. Shankar gave her first public performance at the age of 13 at Siri Fort in New Delhi. By the age of fourteen, she was accompanying her father at concerts around the world, and signed her first record contract, with Angel Records(EMI) at 16.
She released her first album, Anoushka, in 1998, followed by Anourag in 2000. Both Shankar and Norah Jones were nominated for Grammy awards in 2003 when Anoushka became the youngest-ever and first woman nominee in the World Music category for her third album, Live at Carnegie Hall.
2005 brought the release of her fourth album RISE, earning her another Grammy nomination in the Best Contemporary World Music category. In February 2006 she became the first Indian to play at the Grammy Awards.
Shankar has given soloist performances of her father’s 1st Concerto for Sitar and Orchestra worldwide. In January 2009 she was the sitar soloist alongside the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for the series of concerts premièring her father’s 3rd Concerto for Sitar and Orchestra, and in July 2010 she premiered Ravi Shankar’s first symphony for sitar and orchestra with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at London’s Barbican Hall.
Shankar has also ventured into acting (Dance Like a Man, (2004)) and writing. She wrote a biography of her father, Bapi: The Love of My Life, in 2002 and has contributed chapters to various books. As a columnist she wrote monthly columns for First City Magazine for three years, and spent one year as a weekly columnist for the Hindustan Times.
Shankar recorded her following album in Madrid, Spain. Released in autumn 2011, Traveller is an exploration of the commonalities and differences between classical Indian music and Spanish flamenco, and features Shubha Mudgal, Tanmoy Bose, Pepe Habichuela, Sandra Carrasco and Duquende among others
Shankar 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 is also the spokesperson for the United Nations World Food Programme in India.