For Anoushka Shankar, there is legacy and then there is destiny. She is equally respectful of both, but bound to neither. Her ever-growing audience cannot help but acknowledge the familial roots of the young woman coaxing spellbinding spiritual sounds from her sitar, but neither can they deny that she is an innovator in her own right. Her name may have brought her to the stage for the first time as a young girl, but it is her talent and vision that have kept her there.
Schooled in the Indian classical music tradition by the greatest teacher any student could hope to have, maestro and father Ravi Shankar, Anoushka had already dazzled thousands with her accomplished musicianship by the time she had reached her teens. The younger Shankar revealed herself to be a remarkably promising sitarist, said Time Out New York magazine of the 16-year-old Anoushka in 1997, while a few years later Dubai's Gulf News Panorama noted, She has accomplished far more than many musicians would do in a lifetime.
Anoushka made her recording debut at 13, appearing on the album In Celebration, a tribute to the works of Ravi Shankar. Two years later she made her debut as a conductor on her father's Chants Of India album produced by close family friend, George Harrison.
Anoushka, her 1998 solo debut, established the younger Shankar as something of a prodigy. That same year, the British Parliament awarded Anoushka with a House of Commons Shield, making her both the youngest and the first female recipient of that high honor.