The year 2020 will mark 100 years since the birth of groundbreaking Indian musician, composer, educator and sitar master Ravi Shankar. Shankar’s association with Southbank Centre in London (UK) started with his first performance in Royal Festival Hall in 1958. Shankar formed a lifelong relationship with the venue, including a number of performances and important premieres over the years. To celebrate his remarkable life and legacy, Southbank Centre will present Shankar 100, a special program of concerts and projects throughout his centenary year, developed in consultation with his wife Sukanya and daughter Anoushka Shankar.
Gala concert on April 7, 2020, the actual centenary of Ravi Shankar’s birth, with a star-studded line-up of family and friends including his daughters Anoushka Shankar and Norah Jones, Nitin Sawhney and Olivia Harrison;
Akram Khan Company presents Kaash, originally premiered at Southbank Centre in 2002 and revived in tribute to Ravi Shankar;
London Philharmonic Orchestra performs Ravi Shankar’s final work, the opera Sukanya in January 2020, and his only Symphony in April 2020;
Sitarist and composer Anoushka Shankar features as a Southbank Centre Associate Artist throughout the 2019/20 season;
BFI Southbank screens a selection of films scored by Ravi Shankar, curated by Anoushka Shankar;
An exhibition featuring significant archive objects belonging to Ravi Shankar on display from April 2020 in the Royal Festival Hall Archive Studio;
A specially-commissioned film to be displayed in Royal Festival Hall’s public spaces and online, featuring archive footage and interviews with contemporary artists who have been influenced by Ravi Shankar’s work;
Interactive music workshops and performances for primary schools;
Plus more programming to be announced.
Sukanya Shankar commented: “The centenary celebrations for my husband by the Southbank Centre will bring back some of the magic I have experienced at all the concerts of this amazing musician!”
Anoushka Shankar stated: “I feel deeply grateful to be able to begin celebrations of my late father’s centenary year with a series of special events at London’s Southbank Centre, before we continue the celebrations in various cities worldwide. It feels ambitious to the point of being unrealistic, to somehow put together anything that can fully showcase all the varied aspects of his incredible career, creativity, musicianship and humanity. However with the multiplicity of events that Southbank Centre is putting on, we may stand a chance!”
Akram Khan noted: “Pandit-Ji is one of the most iconic artists to have come out of India, and one that has truly inspired many generations of music and dance lovers all around the world.”
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