Star musician Anoushka Shankar to perform at Llangollen Eisteddfod

The hypnotising sound of the sitar will be creating a buzz at an international festival when seven times Grammy nominee Anoushka Shankar performs in Wales for the very first time.

Anoushka Shankar
Anoushka Shankar

Shankar will be taking centre stage at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod on the evening of July 8, and tickets are on sale now as the event prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary.

She was taught how to play the instrument by her father, the legendary musician Ravi Shankar, who performed with The Beatles.

Father and daughter worked together with George Harrison to create the landmark album, Chants of India, but Anoushka has carved out a remarkable career in world music in her own right.

The English-Indian-American musician has collaborated with artists including Sting, Herbie Hancock, Jeff Beck and her half-sister, Norah Jones.

She has performed at the BBC Proms and Glastonbury and has won legions of fans worldwide, but Llangollen Eisteddfod is her first appearance in Wales and she says she is very excited by the prospect.

The original concept for Llangollen Eisteddfod was a musical event that could promote education and international peace and goodwill and these are ambitions close to Shankar's heart.

She said: "My father, Ravi Shankar, had a core belief in the concept of peace through music.

"It feels like society as a whole can forget how investing time, effort, money and energy into the arts actually brings about an 'upliftment' of society as a whole into connection and peace."

Anoushka writes film scores, including the music for the series, A Suitable Boy which won an Ivor Novello nomination.

"I am finding the idea of composing for visual mediums more interesting after a couple of decades of primarily touring and writing albums," she said.

She will join forces with Austrian percussionist, composer, Hang-player and Björk collaborator Manu Delago and the strings of the Britten Sinfonia, for the Eisteddfod evening.

The festival starts on Thursday, July 7 and culminates with Llanfest on Sunday, July 10, when the eisteddfod will join forces with the Llangollen Fringe Festival.

The competitions will reach a crescendo on the Saturday night with 'Choir of the World, and the contest for the Pendine International Voice of the Future, featuring the finest young singers from across the globe.

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